* Finals Time *

It’s almost the end of April.  The good news is that spring is finally here, which means another semester of college is almost over.  The bad news is, is that to get through this final semester, you’ll have to conquer your final exams first.

The end of a semester can definitely be a stressful time for students.  Besides the extra work, the bright sunshine and warm weather can make it difficult to focus on final projects and presentations, final exams, and those 10 page papers!  Keep in mind the following tips to help make this time a bit less stressful:

1.) Steer clear of Facebook, Myspace, & Twitter – I’ve found that I can turn two hours worth of studying into four hours of studying thanks to social media.  I tell myself that I will only check out my Facebook for five minutes, and the five minutes turns into fifty minutes.  This is also one of the downfalls of being an online student.  With my classes online, it is so easy to open another window and begin surfing the internet on the side!  It’s best to steer clear of Facebook when studying though, and sometimes I have even printed out my writing prompts, homework questions, and other note-worthy information to help avoid the temptation.  If I have to write a final paper, sometimes I will start my drafts on a notebook instead of using my computer.  This not only helps me steer clear of the internet, but I also get to give my eyes a rest from the glare of the computer screen.

2.) Sleep! – This is a no-brainer, but we all know that rarely do we ever get the recommended amount of sleep that we need.  Most of the time 7-8 hours of sleep is recommended for young adults and adults to be able to function.  Some people thrive on less, and some thrive on more.  It’s best to know your personal number of hours of sleep that you need though, and stick to it.  Of course this is good to do the night before a big test, but it is also important to try to get plenty of rest when preparing for a test.  This way you can actually FOCUS on what you are studying; the pages will be less likely to blur together, and you will actually process and remember what you are reading.

3.) Eat healthy – Put away the Monster and grab a bottle of water and an apple instead.  I know this is easier said than done, but it is the best way to eat healthy for finals week.  All of us have been known to go for the highly caffeinated and extra sugary beverages when it comes to conquering fatigue and busy schedules.  Too much caffeine can be a bad thing though.  Sure, you will be able to stay awake and study, but will your mind be prepared?  Caffeine is a temporary fix, and when it comes time to take that all-important test, will your mind be racing instead and all of your preparedness be for waste? When taking out the stack of books for finals week, it is best to set the energy drinks aside.  Settle for coffee or tea instead, and keep that to a minimum.  Know how much caffeine you can consume before you become “wired” and try to steer clear of that amount.

4.) Have fun – Studying is definitely important, but remember, there is only so much preparing you can do when it comes to a test.  If you stare at your textbooks for too long, you will eventually stress yourself out.  Some of the wisest repeated past advice has been to take a break from studying.  Head outdoors instead and take a walk, or sit down and read a few chapters of a book for fun.  Let the information “sit” in your head for a while, and then check yourself for understanding later on.

For some other tips to help you prepare for finals, head to PsychCentral.com: 

http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2011/04/26/7-tips-for-coping-with-finals/

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