Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Opinion | A few tips to handle a hectic finals week at the University

CW / Natalie Teat
Students studying in Gorgas Library.

It is time to prepare for finals. For some first-year students at The University of Alabama, the stress of college-level finals may be a new challenge to overcome. For the rest of the student body, it is just another part of the series of finals weeks that make up part of the college experience.

Some may be fortunate enough to escape this week without any finals and will be leaving for break. However, for the rest of us, there are some tips that most students should keep in mind to make it through the final week of the semester.

Plan your study time 

First and foremost, planning is crucial. Speaking from personal experience, studying for one’s more difficult or important tests in a short time can be challenging, especially if you are unlucky enough to have several finals on the same day. The only way to avoid the stress of cramming is to plan out when and how you need to study. 

It is not too late to get an early start on studying, and the sooner you start, the better you will do and the less stressed you will be the night before each exam. Make a schedule of your exam dates and the material you need to study so that you can pace yourself and make the best use of your remaining time to prepare effectively. For helpful study tips to prevent cramming, visit the University of Alabama News Center.

Remember to rest

Stress management and sleep are vital. While planning can be a valuable tool for reducing stress, studying for finals will always be at least a little tense. Other strategies beyond creating a study schedule can help you keep the pressure low, including getting a good night’s rest, especially before each test.

 Pulling all-nighters to study is rarely a good idea because sleep deprivation increases stress and reduces overall academic performance. Studies have shown that less than 10% of undergraduate students consistently get the recommended eight hours of sleep. 

For most of us, our already poor sleep habits worsen during finals week. It needs to be stressed that sleep, in and of itself, is not enough to excel on your final exams. In some limited circumstances, staying up late on nights before a final that you would otherwise be unprepared for may be worth it in the short term. 

Save time for yourself

Setting aside the time to have some fun and take care of yourself is key. It is easy to lock yourself in your room and study all day for tests or writing papers, but getting out and having fun with friends or engaging in activities you enjoy is a great way to keep stress low and reward yourself between study sessions. Remember that you have needs that need to be met.

Aim for the best, start now, and keep up your daily exercise and meal routine to support yourself during finals week. For those of us who try our best to eat healthy and keep ourselves active, do not give up these healthy habits. For those who don’t exercise regularly or have poor eating habits, healthier meals this week may provide a helpful reprieve from stints of intense studying and writing.

 While planning your studying ahead of time, ensuring a good night’s sleep, and taking care of your health while having fun may be simple tips to keep in mind during finals, there is little doubt that these practices can help you achieve success.

Work hard, have fun and pace yourself. If you ever see yourself flagging, remember that this semester is almost over, and soon you will be on break!

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