So, I finished my first day of finals without any mental breakdowns or tears. It was a bit of a close call, given that my geology final was a disaster despite the fact I made a 15-page, single-spaced study guide. So that was weird… but anyway, now that I’ve finished two finals and turned in an essay all I have left is a final essay (6-8 pages), and a history exam, but it’s hard to get motivated when the paper isn’t due until Wednesday and my exam isn’t until Thursday. So, I’ve compiled a little list of how I keep my motivation going throughout the entirety of finals week!
I know that a lot of times once people make it through the first day of finals, they tend to start having a difficult time finding motivation to keep pushing through. I have a difficult time getting through finals every year. In the fall, I was going through some personal stuff. My first fall in college, I ended up getting a sinus infection and bronchitis. Last spring I was trying to move back home and that was stressful for several reasons. This spring I’m excited to be home, I’m excited to move past this semester, and I’m ready to get working on personal projects. So, I stay motivated a few ways.
First, the week before finals, I look at my grades, and set goals for what grade I hope to get on my final exams, essays, or projects. I also plan out how I’m going to organize my studying. This helps me stay on track, and reminds me what I need to get on a final. My roommate made fun of me because I put “you will get an A” in the header of my Geology study guide as a reminder of what I hoped to get. Also, keeping a schedule of studying will ensure that you’re going to be successful and not feel overwhelmed or like you don’t know where to start.
Second, it really helps me to do group study sessions in the library for a final. I study on my own, but explaining material to others or hearing it explained helps me solidify my understanding. Make sure that if you choose to do this kind of studying, though, that the people in your group will actually study for a few hours because you don’t want a group that relies on you for all the information, and you also don’t want people who get distracted easily because that’ll mess up your study cycle.
Third, make sure you are taking an adequate number of breaks during finals. People who pull all nighters, drink energy drink after energy drink, and never take breaks confuse me. I need breaks to stay productive. Otherwise I reach an “I DON’T CARE” point, and that’s never fun nor is productive. So, I usually end up taking a break every hour. If you need an idea for a good study break that doesn’t involve food, check out this post.
Fourth, makes sure you’re getting sleep. Seep-deprived students do not typically perform the best. You won’t be as alert, you won’t retain as much information, and you may get grumpy and irritable. Getting sufficient sleep with likely improve your finals week. Also, making your bed each morning is a productive start to your day, which will set a good tone for the day. It’ll also force you to get up a few minutes early, which will get your brain working a little sooner than five minutes before a test.
How do you motivate yourself during finals?