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How to survive UMaine finals week

So, you’re a first year university student taking 15 to 21 credits your first semester. Some of you ambitious souls are also in the honor’s college or in Organic Chemistry. You’ve somehow managed to scrape by the semester without losing all your hair or whatever social life you have left. Thanksgiving break was well awaited and the moment of relaxation allowed for a delicious detox. Unfortunately, that sanctuary is all over. Finals are around the corner ready to rip your heart out. It’s make it or break it time baby. Say goodbye to your GPA and drop out now. 

Calm down, that was all a bit of fun. In reality finals are not as bad as you may think they are — unless they are more than 30% of your grade, then I can’t really help you there. Disregarding the exception, finals are just a cumulation of what you learned in your class or what the second part after the midterm of your class covered. You don’t get to see the grade you get on the final, just your final grade. However, this doesn’t mean you should not study and be prepared for what is placed in front of you. It also doesn’t mean to make the final exam your life for the next week. As a way to help alleviate any worries surrounding the final, here are some helpful tips and tricks from upperclassmen who survived their final exams. 

  1. Sleep

Now sleep probably hasn’t been on your list of priorities for this entire semester, but this is when you need it the most. A good night’s sleep is important for focusing and being on your toes when the exam comes your way. It boosts mood and keeps the caffeine jitters away. 

     2. Reduce stress

Avoid cramming and try to pace yourself. If you start to feel stressed and you’re not retaining any information, put the books down and do something relaxing to put your mind in a better state before trying to absorb the materials again. Listening to music or taking a few mental breaks from your work may be just enough to let the stress melt away. Little bits of exercise here and there is also a beneficial way to get your mind off stress and keep your health in check.

     3. Remember your friends

They are probably studying too, and a study group may be a great way to help each other study in a fun and entertaining way. If it is for the same class, maybe someone has a great study technique that you can pick up and use for your own studying as well. People may remind you of things that you need more help on or what needs to be focused on more. Likewise, if everyone is done studying, you can share food or activities and as a result maybe even form some unexpected friendships. 

    4. Remember your needs

Finals season doesn’t mean forgetting to take care of yourself. Sometimes a good shower can be a time to recoup and feel better about yourself. Brushing your teeth and getting dressed puts you in a mood that gets you ready to take on whatever you’re facing. Be good to your mental state. The library offers a few hours each day during finals week for students to pet therapy dogs. Know what is good for your brain and for your body and the exam should be nothing but words on a page for you. 

     5. Eat food

Eating something jumpstarts your brain so that you are mentally aware and ready to retain information. Food is incredible and can impact your mood as well as your ability to comprehend information. Refrain from energy drinks if you can and keep the cups of coffee down to a few. 

    6. Don’t make finals everything

This is really important to balance. Yes, it may seem like it is everything to you at this point and it is important to get good grades, but it is not something to lock yourself away from society for. All it does is produce more stress, sike your brain out and make you miss things you knew. Take a moment to do something that you enjoy and forget about it for a few minutes. When you are ready and clear, return and study when your mind is clear. 

Keep yourself in mind. That is the most important thing to remember when studying for finals week. If you want to make it everything, that is your call, but just remember that there are more things to life than a final exam.


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