Finals Weak? Finish Strong with These Tips and Tricks!

Finals week is right around the corner for college students, and while many of us are ready to throw our textbooks up in the air like we just don’t care, truth is, we can’t help but care. There’s no need to fear folks, I’m here to help! I’ve gathered a couple of tips and tricks from some of our fellow Cypress College students to see how they get through finals season along with some of my own experiences in hopes of helping you finish this semester strong, or at least remind you that you’re not alone!

Walking around campus with my notebook and my black G2 pen, I can’t help but acknowledge: it’s a beautiful sunny day out- clear blue skies, the perfect amount of sun, a cool breeze brushing through the baby hairs on the back of the neck. The campus is really quiet, birds chirping at a distance- there’s so much peace. I almost didn’t want to interrupt anyone- I realized, at least for me, this is the perfect study setting. Then I thought, “Too bad, I have a deadline.”

Whether your schedule consists of 19 units or 6, everyone has at least one class they might be freaking out a little over. To ease your pain here are a couple of the coolest, most common, and most helpful tips and tricks I put together from the individuals who took the time to share:

“I think the best thing for me is to be alone” said Stephanie Gomez, a fellow reporter from the Cypress Chronicle. She also shared, “I rewrite my notes, neater.” Bradley Trout, the editor-in-chief, joined in with, “I do the same thing.” At that moment I felt left out- just kidding- but I did realize that this was something I’d never tried before. Maybe next time I can try retyping my notes!

“What helps me get through finals week is coffee! If it wasn’t for coffee, I would be a mess.” Alyssa Garcia, 26, Sociology major explained. “Small breaks are needed too. As for me, if I don’t take a break then my brain will not function anymore.” Me too Alyssa, me too. If it’s necessary when I’m studying or working on a project, I allow myself to drink coffee at 11 pm. Sounds crazy right? Yet, I’ve just finished a 8 hour project session, it’s okay- I still sleep like a baby when I’m done.

“Use apps like Quizlet,” was Ann Chieng’s advice, a twenty-one year old communications major. I was caught off guard when she mentioned apps, until she said Quizlet. I thought, “Oh yeah, they have flashcards!” Personally, I would be too tempted by Instagram and Snapchat, but if you have better self-control than I do, it might work for you.

One of the most creative study tips I got was from Precious Vang, a dance and kinesiology student, “I listen to songs that I know and I make a song with formulas.” Insert “mind blown” emoji here. I think she saw my eyes widen with slight surprise, as I automatically jumped to the idea of rapping algebra formulas to some Cardi B. I’m not that creative, though, so I might need a ghostwriter- any takers?

John Yarbrough, another Cypress Chronicle reporter shared, “I get on Youtube and look up alternative stuff, on the same subject.” This was another great idea I’d never used before- John why didn’t you share this a couple semesters ago when I was struggling in my math class? His suggestion got me thinking; we Google and Youtube all kinds of tutorials- from makeup to changing flat tires- so why not search for some help for that history exam?

Unsurprisingly, I got a lot of repeats in tips and tricks; I guess the most common tips must be the ones that work! Many students stated that they like to be secluded somewhere quiet, and only prefer group studying when they want help with their flashcards or quizzing one another.

Me too, I learned that putting my phone as far away from me as possible works best. When I have a deadline or an exam coming up, I even get distracted by the urge to clean my entire room or open a new tab on that site I haven’t visited since last year. I’m sure a lot of us would rather wash our family’s dirty dishes than finish that 10 page essay, but at the end of the day we need to get by the distractions and remind ourselves why we are going through this.

These study tips and tricks might not work for everyone-No one works the same- but we all go through the late-night study sessions and the no-sleep week; those A’s are well worth the hard work. So, keep pushing because in about a week or so you’ll be tanning on the beach with sand in your hair feeling the fresh ocean breeze!

YOU GOT THIS! Good luck on your finals and make the best of your summer!

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