More progress, less stress: How to avoid procrastination during finals

News, Student Life

With finals being right around the corner, many students have started the study/stress process. All students have their own methods for approaching the tension-filled week: some try their best to avoid all stress-inducing thoughts and procrastinate until the last minute, while others have been studying since the beginning of the semester.

First-year Jessica Saffell organizes her work into a study guide.

“I take my fun-colored markers, and I write down what I need to do and the answers to the questions,” Saffell said. From there, she just goes over what she has written multiple times before taking the exam. In order to relieve some of the anxiety that finals bring, she takes breaks to workout.

Sophomore Jackie Walker also has methods that she uses for a stress-free finals week.

“Rewriting things really helps me, so writing on a whiteboard is how I study, along with writing note cards and typing my notes,” Walker said.

As a biology major, this is extremely helpful when she studies the chemical bonds. Walker tries to dedicate an hour every day to doing absolutely nothing school-related. During this time, she usually gets lunch and watches an episode of something on Netflix.

First-year Hannah Barnard goes through all of her notes throughout the semester and makes a study guide based on what she thinks are the most important things from the course. She also takes the occasional break to watch Netflix when she feels herself getting overly stressed.

“’The Office’ and ‘Gilmore Girls’ are my favorites to watch to alleviate some of the burden of finals” she said.

Sophomore Brianna Rampi also takes full advantage of the white boards, both the ones on the tables in the library and the various other whiteboards around campus.

“I buy a lot of candy, and I take a lot of breaks,” Rampi said of her process to eliminate stress.

Sophomore Logan Pelphrey said his study tactics involve looking at the study guide for about five hours and then studying with others. Being a music major, he doesn’t really get time for breaks, so he just embraces the stress and turns it into something positive instead of a negative thing.

Procrastination is a big factor in the stress students feel around finals time. Getting started on an assignment is probably the hardest thing for most. If you don’t have a steady study plan like Saffell, Walker, Barnard, Rampi, or Pelphrey, here are some tips to at least start studying:

  1. Take larger assignments and break them down into something more manageable. Sectioning it off makes the work load seem much smaller and easier to accomplish. Now, if you waited until the last minute, I wouldn’t suggest using this method, but if you want to test this out and you have a few days, start now!
  2. Find someone that you can study with, but choose carefully. Having someone else around you that is studying, especially the same material, can be extremely helpful. This way, if you have questions or don’t understand something, you will be less likely to give up because you have a friend to help explain it to you. When picking a study buddy, don’t just let anyone join you. Make sure that they aren’t going to be a constant distraction and will motivate you when you need it.
  3. Give yourself a reward to celebrate all of the hard work you have done! Having something to look forward to at the end of the process will make the studying seem less like a chore. Go to a movie or to Graeter’s for a double scoop of black raspberry chip at the end of a long run of studying and applaud yourself for getting it all done.

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