Tips on how students can prepare for next week's final exams

 ISU students will be spending time studying and preparing for finals.

Happy study week, Sycamores! With the school year almost over, I know many, if not all of us, are itching to get back home for summer. As tempting as it is to shut down or give up on that super hard class right now, you’ve already made it this far. To help you through study week and finals, I’ve compiled a list of tips and tricks that you can use now and in the future.

  1. 1.     Find a good place to study

For me, that usually means a quiet place free of distractions. I never study in my room or in a crowded place. I personally really like the library, specifically the third floor and the very back of the first floor. I find the second floor to be especially noisy because there are usually a lot of people and the AC is pretty loud.

I also find any academic building perfect for quiet studying, like the Business, Science or Health and Human Services buildings. They are quiet for the most part, and always have places to study. Fair warning though, it can be easy to lose track of time in some of those places and not realize when nighttime comes. Another option would be Starbucks in the Commons because they just have a really good vibe and there are a lot of seats with outlets. It’s the best when the meeting room is empty because it seems that there’s some extra soundproofing in there. Just make sure to check the little chalkboard in there for any reservations!

  1. 2.     Get rid of distractions

This starts with knowing what distracts you and causes you to lose focus. You can turn your phone on airplane mode or, if you want to be a little more extreme, temporarily delete those apps that waste your time like Tik Tok and Instagram. This is for apps that you have to sign into, because then you can sign back into your account when you redownload the app after finals. I know some of us have family or friends that always like knowing where we are and talking to us a whole bunch, so you can avoid freak-outs by just texting people to let them know that you won’t be available for a while. If your issue is with your laptop and browsing the Internet, there are browser extensions that you can set up to block certain sites. I use the Firefox extension called Impulse Blocker, and it’s super helpful for me.

  1. 3.     Bring snacks

I don’t know about anyone else but for me, hunger is such a big distraction. I feel like I can’t focus as well if my stomach is making constant announcements to the whole room. It’s also such a nuisance when you have to leave your coveted study spot just to go eat. To avoid these, I suggest bringing snacks of some sort with you for studying. Fruit and granola bars are the best because they are healthy and provide energy, but nobody will judge you in you bring your bag of Cheeto puffs in with you during study week. We’re all feeling it. Packing food keeps you from breaking your study streak and allows you to focus more.

  1. 4.     Schedule your time

It can get very stressful looking at all the finals you have coming up and all the things you do, so I find it best to make a priority list and make a sort of schedule for yourself. I know this sounds a little neurotic, but trust me. Find out which assignments are due first and which classes meet on study week, and schedule everything else around them. Also make sure to check if your professor is providing study sessions. As intimidating as those may seem, they really help. You get an opportunity to ask questions and get clarifications, and there probably things that everyone else is confused about as well.

Within your crazy schedule of classes, assignments, meetings and study sessions, it is vital to take care of your mental health and take breaks. Listen closely: it is not good for you to not sleep and run yourself into the ground. It is not a competition. Every hour or so, make sure to get up and walk around, maybe talk to a friend over FaceTime or Snapchat. This could also be a time to look at your phone for 5 or 10 minutes or check your email. Additionally, make sure to get to bed at a reasonable time and get at least 7 hours of sleep if you can. You cannot run off of caffeine, so please do not try to.

Well, there are some of my tips! Of course, these are just what works for me and it might be different for someone else. Overall, it is best to find what works best for you. I hope this advice helps you at least a little and just remember, it is not the end of the world. Whatever happens, life still goes on, and you can too. There’s only two weeks left, so you can do it. Good luck!