‘The week before finals and through the greens, the Bobcats flock to the library and study any way they can. While sleep schedules and caffeine cravings get a bit more serious, there is still hope that an A will appear soon.
It’s that time of year again, and fall semester finals are right around the corner. Students, regardless of their major year or years, will feel stressed and nervous over the next two weeks. Whether it’s a final project, an online paper, or a good old-fashioned personal exam, it’s time to crack open the books, head to the front room coffee house, and start the study sessions.
On top of final exams, students from all over campus are involved in student organizations, sorority and fraternity life, sports, jobs, and hobbies. This can be time-consuming and limit study or work time.
However, being a part of something outside of classes is very beneficial for time and stress management skills. Also, having healthy outlets to help with stress, such as working out, journaling, or creating art or music, can boost mood and help enforce a routine or schedule, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Avery Ochs, a sophomore studying journalism, is preparing for finals despite being involved in several organizations.
“I’m part of WOUB, I work for their social team, I’m part of PRSSA and 1804 Communications,” she said. “I like to play the piano (and) I’m part of a sorority.”
Despite her extensive involvement across campus, Ochs is still finding ways to prepare as finals week approaches.
“I’ll keep a list and then I’ll do like an hour on each project, especially when I have a lot of projects to do,” she said. “Like this semester, all my finals are projects.”
The type of exams or the number of exams can affect the stress levels related to students. Some classes will assign a final project as opposed to a test, and vice versa. Working on projects or starting to study for exams early is very helpful as opposed to waiting until the night before. Procrastination is a student’s worst enemy. However, even setting aside 15 to 30 minutes a day to review material or complete a project can help give enough space to a place where there is less stress associated with it.
Changing study habits to more effective ones can also be beneficial. Students can use methods like flashcards, active recall, and mind mapping—no need to highlight sentence after sentence or reread notes a thousand times. A good night’s rest and a healthy diet can improve your overall well-being and help anyone feel prepared and confident in their work and abilities.
Marcus Pettiford, a senior studying mechanical engineering, emphasized taking breaks and practicing self-care.
“There are definitely times when you’re at work and you know the time is flying by and you don’t realize you haven’t eaten all day,” he said. “Definitely keep your fuel up.”
Upperclassmen like Pettiford have been through this before and have plenty of tips and advice for underclassmen struggling with stress and time management.
“Start early on what you need to review and ask for regular feedback,” Pettiford said. “Ask for feedback on everything you’ve done wrong up until that point in the exam.”
OU provides many resources to help students relax and prepare for all of their finals. Alden Library will provide all finals week resources and events, including therapy dogs on Thursday, December 1st and Monday, December 5th, and “Finals Survival Kits” while supplies last.
Alden always assigns students tutors and peer mentors for almost every class imaginable to really master the class material before the big bad final. Charles J. The Ping Recreation Center offers group workout classes such as cycling and yoga to help students destress and engage in daily movement.
Talking and socializing with friends can ease exam stress, as it can help students realize they are not alone in their overwhelming nerves. One of the best ways to overcome frustration during finals is to have an uplifting support group.
Maya Young, a freshman studying biology, shared her feelings and emotions about four upcoming individual exams.
“I definitely need to study more, but I’m not too stressed about them (exams) now,” she said.
Like many freshmen this year, Young took college credit before coming to OU, so she believes it helped a lot in preparing for what college exams will be like.
“I know what to expect,” she said.
Although students all over campus feel stressed or overwhelmed by the thought of finals, students know what steps to take when that stress gets to them, and have all kinds of strategies and discipline to make it to finals first. As the semester ends, good luck with finals everyone and good night everyone.