How to survive finals

How to survive finals

Paige Thompson

With the spring semester coming to a close, students are starting to feel the weight of exams, papers and presentations get heavier and heavier.

While the work load of the semester is decreasing, there are ways to get out from under the crunch of academics.

Dana Gohmann, social sciences advisor, says that it is important to limit procrastination.

“I think it’s very important for students to manage their time well,” Gohmann said. “This applies to making sure you carve out enough time in your schedule to study.”

Everyone has their own way of staying on track, and it can be easier than one might be led to believe.

“I think students can (be) successful by preparing and allowing themselves enough time to study for exams,” Haley Hisle, communications sophomore, said.

However, one of the ultimate obstacles to overcome when trying to prepare for finals, is procrastination. Something that many students encounter throughout their academic career.

Cutting out the procrastination can make finals tolerable, no matter what season it is. “Try to keep in mind your reason for being here and for seeking a degree. Motivation and drive go a long way in being successful in your classes,” said Gohmann.

One of the most important things to remember on the road to being successful during finals, is to use the many resources available at IU Southeast. “Use the resources available to you at IUS. Talk with your professors. Visit them in their office hours. Use other resources we offer such as the Writing Center and Math Lab. If you are a struggling student, don’t suffer in silence. Seek out supportive faculty and staff,” Gohmann said.

Fine Arts senior Alyssa Hubbard gives some advice to younger students, “My advice is to break things up. Read for 45 minutes and then take a five or ten minute break. You could also make a goal to read a certain number of pages and when you reach your goal go get a healthy snack, stretch, or complete another task, and then return back to your readings.”

Hubbard also recommends using professors and various faculty members for help. “I have learned to listen closely to the advice my professors give. they are the ones who have the experience, and I am positive the majority of them really do want you to succeed,” she said.

There are also multiple apps that can be downloaded onto any tablet or smartphone device, to help students study, stay organized, on track, and motivated, such as:

1) Evernote: According to the iTunes App Store, this free application allows its user to take notes and photos of a class syllabus or assignment. It also gives the user the ability to create their own to-do lists, voice reminders, sync notes through all of your devices, and more.

2) iStudiez Pro: This $2.99 app is a digital planner and more. It manages the user’s schedule, course details, professor information, etc. The app also contains a feature that will track grades, as well as GPA throughout the semester. The app also claims to keep the user always up to date, so they are never behind on assignments. This app is also available in a free, ‘Lite’ version, called iStudiez Lite, which is essentially the same thing only limiting the user to only managing one semester at a time, five classes, and a limited amount of assignments and instructors to keep track of.
prep2 guide

3) Coffitivity: For some students, something about the atmosphere of a coffee shop gets their creative juices flowing. This free app offers everything that a coffee shop has to offer besides the smell, without the hassle of trying to bear the wintry weather and waste gas by driving to an actual coffee shop. With three different atmospheric noises to choose from, the user can adjust the volume of the sounds, as well as add their own music to the background. The app also allows the volumes of the two to be adjusted separately.

4) 8tracks: Though not strictly for educational purposes, sometimes trying to study in the quiet makes one want to go crazy. This free app offers millions of playlists, put together by its many users. Simply type in “study,” a genre of music, etc. and search the various playlists. It takes away the hassle of getting distracted by picking out music while studying or doing homework.

While nothing makes a college student feel more unmotivated during finals week than looking out the window at the beautiful weather, dreaming of summer, it can be improved by being productive, motivated, and organized. However, students should be advised to not overdo it.

“Also, make sure you have some downtime built into your schedule. When students over-schedule themselves, they tend to get burnt out and school usually suffers first,” Gohmann said.

Having downtime to relax and take a break gives the mind time to rest. “To be successful I have kept myself motivated with positivity. At times thoughts can be a real ‘motivation thief,’ don’t let that happen. I try to produce positive thoughts and drop the negative ones,” Hubbard said.