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7 Ways To Make Finals Week Stress Free

If you want to know how I graduated with a 3.75 GPA, while working almost full-time and going to school more than full-time (18 or 21 credits each semester)… here’s how!

1. Go to Class During the Semester

I know this sounds too easy, but seriously this is the number 1 reason I never stressed out during finals week. I went to almost every class and was mentally present during each class. This meant I had much less studying to do than my classmates because I didn’t have to learn content for the first time on my own. PLUS you will ALWAYS get a better grade on an essay exam if you use the professor’s own wording. If you write down almost word for word how they described something, you cannot be wrong (obviously) and by going to class every day you learn the teacher’s speaking style so you can mimic it on your essay.

2.  Take Notes in a Notebook and Transfer Them To A Word Document

Studies show you remember what you physically write down much more than typing, however, going through your notebook to fill out a study guide is time consuming. If you transfer what is on your notebook to a word document you are not only going over the lecture and studying that way, but when finals week pops up you can CTRL + F and find the answers to the study guide questions much, much quicker.

3.  Sleep

Finals week was when I would sleep the most. My sister (the psych major) confirmed that sleeping is when your brain processes memory. That means the less sleep you get, the less you remember. Nap every day, get your 8 hours, take 2 naps if you can. This is why going to class is so important, if you do not need to teach yourself the material you missed by not going to class, you can use that time to sleep and meditate and you’ll be in much better shape to get an A on that final.

4. Download the Quizlet App

If you need to memorize things for class, you need this app. You can study flashcards on the bus, in the car, in line, anywhere as long as you have your phone. This is the sole reason I could take Spanish as a minor with all of the vocab memorization. When it came to the final, I knew all the words because I would study flashcards on the shuttles and when I got to class early.

5. SLAY

During the semester slay your assignments, work hard on them and get good grades. When it comes to assignments, such as a midterm paper, your professors are available to help you and would honestly be thrilled if you showed up to office hours to make sure you have an A-paper. And guess what happens when you get A’s on assignments? You don’t have to worry about your final because your grade is already pretty stable. If you don’t need your final to help you pass a class, then you’ll be much less stressed, trust me.

6. Use Your Resources

You have the best minds in your state at your service for FREE. Go to free tutoring with one of your friends you met in class (assuming you took my advice in 15 Things to Do Your First Week of College). Go to free writing labs to write kick-butt papers that will get your grades solidified before finals. Talk to your teachers during office hours. Do everything you can. You’re only in school for 4 years (unless you further your education). Kill it by taking advantage of what’s available to you, because when you’re no longer a student you can’t take back all of the things you didn’t do.

7. Remind Yourself That it’s Temporary

I cannot even count the number of times I told myself, ” In ___ days this will all be over and I’ll be sleeping in until 12:30pm“. Just keep repeating this to yourself. Finals week is only a week and you’ve prepared for it, and you will not have to worry about them after your last one.

The Top 8 Things I Regret From My Time In College

1. Not Joining More Clubs

You’re probably sick of people telling you to join clubs because they seem like a lot of work, and I thought so too. I honestly wish I would have joined more. A club is where you meet your network. It is what you write on your resume to have employers view you as “skilled’ without experience. This is how you stay too busy for toxic relationships. Being in a club is how you have cool, college experiences.

2. Waiting until my Senior Year to Intern.

This may or may not come as a surprise, but when you graduate from college, employers already want you to have years of experience for an entry level job. I know this sounds absurd, and believe me I was flabbergasted myself when I was looking for a job after graduation, but it’s true. However, an internship will give you that experience and help you get a job right out of college. PLUS most jobs are found within people’s network, so who you intern with could potentially hire you, or know of someone who would hire you. Interning is priceless and absolutely a must while in college.

3. Focusing on a Relationship

Unless your relationship is hassle-free and never makes you worry or stress-out, don’t have one. Just end it or put it on hold until you graduate. It is really hard to slay an exam when you’re significant other is fighting with you about your plans for the break afterward. Just trust me on this, there are plenty of ways to curve the loneliness that do not involve relationship-drama.

4. Getting a Car

It’s super nice to have a car if it’s paid off, or was a gift, or won’t hurt you financially in any other way, but I was not in that situation. Having a car payment to worry about on top of student loans, and working, and rent, and food, and gas, and books, etc, was way too much stress for an 18 year old. Save your bills for when you graduate. Embrace public transportation or a bike. For real, I could’ve taken trips with the amount of money I spent monthly on a car that literally just took me to a job I worked to pay for the car.

5. Getting a Dog

I love my dog to death and he is amazing, but I wish I was getting him now in my life rather than when I was a student. It was hard finding sitting for him whenever I wanted to travel. My parent’s had to watch him for months at a time when my life was too hectic to be home. So much money was spent on food, shots, veterinary care, etc. I know how hard it is to say no to a dog (hence why I have one), but get a fish until you graduate and a new puppy can be your gift to yourself for finding a job. Dogs also need a ton of exercise and studying at the dog park in January in the snow was not my most favorite memory of college.

6. Being a Hermit

I was super busy in college, and I used that as an excuse to not go out and do things and meet people. This made my life more difficult. If I missed class, it was hard to get the notes because I didn’t know the people in my class. When people invited me out I said no and now my networking pool is much more shallow than I would like it to be. Meet as many people as possible and stay in touch with them!

7. Letting Family Drama Stress Me Out

Leave family at home. This is why it is critical to move out, even though it is so much cheaper to live at home through school. Even if your parents went to college, they will not understand you and your life and they will be so stressful. They don’t try to be, and we love them, but this is the time where you’re setting the foundation for the rest of your life. It is really hard to make sure you’re on the right path in your life if you have to come home and hear your parent’s plan for you every night.

8. Not Setting Goals

I wish I would have set more goals for myself in college and worked towards actually achieving them. I would have been more successful now had I had done so.