3 mins read

Editorial: Try Not to Stress During Finals Week

We’re almost wrapped up with the Fall 2023 semester. There’s been highs, and there’s been lows the past 3 months. Final exams and essays represent the last mountain to climb before more than three weeks of winter break. 

For most of us, finals week represents a stressful time. However, we can take steps to mitigate the negative effects of stress so we’re happier and more successful students.

First, how well do you need to do on your final? Many people stress about how well they need to get in order to get an A, a B or perhaps just pass the class. 

There’s a very easy math formula to help you find out. All you need to find out is how much the final is worth for your class. Let’s say you have a 94%, the final is worth 20% of the entire grade and you want to keep an A. 

The equation looks like this: GRADE YOU WANT = FINAL WEIGHT*x + WEIGHT OF EVERYTHING ELSE*GRADE YOU HAVE. For example: 90 (grade you want) = .2x (final worth 20%) + .8*94(the grade you have). 

Solve for x, and you see that you need a 74% on the final to secure an A.

Perhaps you don’t like math, or solving the equation scares you even more. 

Another good thing to do is make a list of things that need to be done, beginning with the most important and urgent tasks. 

Every major project or assignment consists of many smaller actions that probably take less than 10 minutes to complete. A final paper may take hours to complete, but writing the intro or thesis doesn’t take long. It’s far easier to think about writing one paragraph than to think about writing five pages. 

Breaking down big tasks into smaller tasks also has another advantage: it helps reinforce the mindset that you can do it!

Most limitations are self-imposed. Tell yourself you can write that essay or get an A on an exam, and you can probably make it happen. Tell yourself you can’t succeed, and you probably won’t. 

This mindset serves well far beyond college. Think about saving money and investing, exercising or planning a trip: they can all be challenging in their own way, but all are significantly more feasible with the right attitude. Since we’re already at university, we might as well use it as an opportunity to make our lives easier in the future.

Third, take breaks. Scientific literature does not back the idea of cramming or spending hours on one subject. The reward of retained information diminishes the longer a study period is without breaks. Studying for 25 minutes followed by a five minute break and hemp from https://bodyandmind.com/ would work well. 

Finally, find something fun this week. Maybe hanging out with friends or taking a walk in Prentiss Park, it’s good to remember that finals do not make up the entirety of your existence or your worth. 

Good luck to everyone during finals week! See you all in January!