Coping with finals

Rebekah Davis, Staff Writer

One of the hardest things to do this time of year is staying calm in the midst the dash towards the end of the semester. When projects, papers, tests and finals start to approach, students often find themselves frazzled to get everything finished. The good news is that there are many ways that students can work smarter, not harder, that we often forget about when we’re stressed.

One of my favorite things to do is to take a walk and get some fresh air when I’ve been cooped up in the library for a few hours. The change of scenery gives my brain a few minutes to relax, and stretching my legs helps me be less jittery as I work. A study done in 2008 by the University of Illinois found that working for an extended amount of time without breaks decreases productivity because of the amount of energy spent continuously on one task. So when you’re experiencing writer’s block or when your hand is cramping from taking so many notes, take a breath of fresh air. It’ll help you study better.

Another important study tip is to make sure that time spent studying is without distractions. I know how tempting it is to suggest studying with a group of people, but that can occasionally be more harming than beneficial. While spending time with friends is great, if no work is done, then time is just wasted, and we all know how valuable time is during exams.

Another way to eliminate distractions is to turn off the phone. I usually put mine on airplane mode so that I can still check the time. It’s much easier for me to study when I’m not concerned with who’s texting me or what’s happening on Facebook.

FMU also offers many services that can be particularly useful during the end of the semester. Career Development is a great place for graduating seniors in particular to go for help with creating a resume and other tools designed to help further your professional skills. The Tutoring Center in Leatherman Science Facility, open from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. Monday- Thursday, is available to students for help in many different subjects. In Founder’s Hall, the Writing Center is open to students. The Writing Center has an online page located on FMU’s website where students can make appointments to get help. Students can also receive help at FMU’s Office of Counseling and Testing after setting up an appointment by calling 843-661-1840.

Besides these three tips, remember to take a breath every once in a while. While school is important, personal health is too. Eating a healthy diet and getting enough sleep are key to being able to study in the first place. And it’s also important to remember that exam week is just that: a week. Keep that in perspective; the week will be over, just like any other week. With all of these things in mind, exam week is sure to be more manageable than it would be without these tips.