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You Can Survive Finals As a Freshmen!

After hours of studying, indistinguishable amounts of coffee, heaps of candy and scattered piles of flashcards...I have made it through my first semester finals as a freshmen. Though I was dreading this finals week, it's not too bad. You don't have to get up for classes. For me, I've only have one final each day this week. So even though I studied hard this past weekend, once I finished a final, I'm free to do fun stuff with my floor the rest of the day.

Some advice for studying I can give is the following:

The sooner you start studying, the better off you'll be. Never underestimate the power of studying a little bit each night, even two weeks, before finals if you feel proactive.

Also, making flashcards and testing yourself can make test time less stressful. Writing done practice questions and writing out a full response to it does wonders. Believe me, if you get stressed out when taking hard tests, it is so beneficial to essentially "test yourself" in a quiet environment. It truly makes taking the real final so much easier simply because you've done it before. Plus, it makes answering questions less nerve-racking because you've been exposed to questions. So you don't get shocked or numb when faced with pages of questions/ a blue book for writing in-class essays!

Though, studying with friends can be helpful, it often times is distracting when you get to talking about your plans for break, holiday shopping, and much more. So although, it's always nice to split up the study work/review, it can also create more distraction if you aren't too careful. A simple solution is to have a healthy mix of partner and individual study time.

Furthermore, finding different spots to study can beat the studying blues. It's nice to sit in a quiet library, but finding other nooks, wherever you are, can help prevent monotonous studying spaces. Also, limit studying in your bed or comfy couches. This is important because especially in college, when you are faced with textbooks, notebooks, and flashcards on top of a sleep-able surface....you're doomed to fall asleep. Or you somehow talk to yourself into taking a nap to benefit your studying for finals. So watch out! Don't be too tempted. It's a battle, but it's worth the fight for a great grade you can show off to your parents over winter break.

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Set a time for when you will begin and end a study session! For me this past weekend created for me a challenge. I needed to study enough, but I also knew taking breaks and having fun was also something I wanted for my last weekend at Morris. What I did was set my cell phone alarm to go off after 30-45 minutes of studying. This was really helpful because I also planned a reward, like getting a hot chocolate from Turtle Mountain Cafe, or when it was later at night, I planned watching a movie with my floor. It was these little rewards, that break up the days and hours of studying. Besides, your brain needs a break from memorizing, analyzing, and problem-solving. Instead of cramming, give yourself a time limit to achieve maximum School Information Retention, as I call it.

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I hope these are some helpful tips, but above all make sure you figure what the best study method is for you. Just remember that the end of finals, is the reward of rest and assurance you did you best, by studying your best. Above all after taking any exams, be proud of the work you did and don't be afraid to show off your good grades. After all, you've earned it:)

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~JO

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