The Most Stressful Time of the Year

by Meredith Winnett

Thanksgiving is 15 days away. This is pretty amazing news. We’re going to get about a week off from school, see our friends from home, watch a ton of football, and most importantly, eat. There’s going to be time to catch up with family and time to start decorating for that day in December (I promised I wouldn’t start talking about it yet). Our five days home are jam packed with fun activities that it all seems to fly by. We can’t possibly fit anything else in our schedules!

However, there is a vital activity we tend to forget during this joyous holiday. You know what I’m going to say. Studying.

Finals come two weeks after Thanksgiving this year. If you’re like me, you have a million and one assignments piled up due at the end of the semester. And if you’re like me, you haven’t started them yet.  I mean, how are we expected to get any work done when it’s supposed to start snowing soon?! This is the most wonderful time of the year, and you want me to focus on finals? No thank you. It’s the holiday season versus our schoolwork, and we’re the key factor in deciding who wins.

So, what are we to do?

First off, stop complaining about how much work you have an actually do it.

Second, find options that will make your life easier. Here are some examples:

  1. List making.
    I’ve discussed this before. Making a list (and checking it twice) will give you a visual on how much work you actually have to do. It may not be as bad as you’re thinking.
  2. Write it out.
    I have an exam today and an exam tomorrow which require a lot of memorization. To prepare for today’s exam, I typed everything I needed to know. Then, I put it all in a note on my phone (this way I always have the information with me). For over an hour, I hand wrote the definitions over and over and over and… until it was committed to memory. Now I know everything I need to know about international relations.
  3. Teach.
    Have a friend with a different major than you? Teach them everything you need to know for the exam. Make sure they understand it. If they ask you questions, even better! That makes you have to think of ways to answer and explain. I taught my boyfriend (who’s a Sports Medicine major) about the History of Journalism a few weeks ago. Sure he didn’t retain any of it, but he did understand while I was telling him. He asked me clarity questions and I had to go more in depth than I previously had thought. I ended up getting an 88 on the exam!

Third, learn to manage your time.

  1. Make another list.
    This one should have due dates and your assignments ordered by importance and how much you have to do for it. So your 15 page paper should probably come before your 5 minute presentation.
  2. Map it out.
    Use a calendar or a planner and map out when you’re going to work on what and for how long. So maybe on November 21st you’re going to work on studying for your American National Government exam for three hours. Then November 22nd you’ll work on writing your History of Journalism essay for two hours.
  3. Take it slowly.
    Don’t wait until the last minute. This adds unnecessary stress to an already unnecessarily stressful season. Start assignments early, work on them a little bit at a time, and really perfect them.  Your grades will reflect the effort.

I really hope this helps someone out there. I know my brain is fried and I’m already feeling the weight of the end of the semester. I am on the verge of insanity. I don’t even know what I’m doing anymore. I’m willing to bet some of you do or will feel the same way. Pace yourself. You’ll do just fine.

If you need any help, don’t hesitate to ask me. I’ll do my best to answer any questions.

Also, make sure you find some time for fun. You need to relax at this point of the semester, so do it. Take a nap, play a game, read a book. Do SOMETHING. Maybe you won’t sleep your entire winter break this way 😉

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