It’s here, Cougars: the dreaded Finals Week, where everyone is high on caffeine and deprived of sleep. But never fear, for The Daily Evergreen life staff is here to offer some tips and moral support for the coming exams.
At the end of the semester, everyone is stressed about finals and the myriad essays to complete. Another huge struggle that sits particularly on the shoulders of freshmen is the stress of completing school work while also trying to move out of the dorms.
The way I’ve been able to keep myself sane is my many lists, including everything from packing up my pantry to turning in that pesky English 101 portfolio that’s been hanging over my head all semester. By including even small, trivial things, it’s easier to start making a dent in all the tasks.
Sometimes, the daunting list can seem overwhelming. When that dreaded feeling of “I can’t do everything” washes over you, the easiest way to make it disappear is by checking off the little things. Feeling a tiny sense of accomplishment can induce a wave of productivity, and make the bigger things seem less terrifying.
Do you like to get energy from being alone or being with friends? I am someone who cannot choose either. So, I choose both.
I have taken multiple personality tests to find I am in the middle of extrovert and introvert. I have found this no man’s land to be a blessing and a curse.
As a freshman at WSU, I have learned some ins and outs of relieving stress my own way.
For my introvert breaks, I put on some loud music and dance like a weirdo in my room. Maybe it sounds embarrassing, but I don’t know how to dance and it still pumps me up for the next study session.
When I feel like I need to actually talk to other human-beings to pump myself up for the next assignment, I pull out my handy-dandy smart phone and call up a friend.
Maybe this means I’ll hang out for an hour or two, or that a friend and I just do homework, or that I have a short chat over the phone with a long-distance friend. Whatever it is, I am ready to go on after I’ve given into my extrovert side.
Dead week and finals week are tough, so just remember: do the things that let you release stress so you can ace those exams.
Evergreen life editor
Amidst the essays and exams I’ve completed over the past four years, I never thought I would stress so much about a music exam.
I will never regret taking piano class because I always wanted to learn how to play. But preparing for my final in this course has me tearing out my hair. Whether you’re a music major or you just took an instrument class for the fun of it, allow me to share some tips and tricks I’ve picked up.
Pace yourself. Shuffle through the material you need to study so you’re not practicing scales for a solid hour. Look for patterns in the music, the melodies may repeat themselves.
Something I like to do is take a break from scales and scheduled material and play a piece from one of my Disney songbooks. Playing something familiar also helps when I sight-read.
And, as every music professor will tell you, practice!
It’s the very last push of the year. Cougs have been through it all by this point. After surviving the frigid, relentless snowstorms and trying to not only keep up, but actually get to school, you could say we must be quite resilient at this point. Meanwhile, University of Washington’s classes got cancelled with maybe an inch of snow on the ground. Weak, I say. Over here, we were trying our hardest every day not to get a concussion, break an ankle or get frostbite because of icy temperatures. I couldn’t say many us were successful at this. But hey, at least we got that one day off of school this semester.
All of this doesn’t mean this finals week is going to be any easier. But at least we can reflect on the worst and feel grateful that time has passed us and that we even made it to this week. I would be genuinely surprised if those of you who love the snow still do after this dark winter. The rest of us were crying frozen tears all the way to campus.
Do what it takes to get through this last week, whether it’s chugging coffee or tea, or binge-eating everything in sight. Then focus on whatever summer holds for you. At least that’s my plan to make it through the week without self-destructing. If anything, just drink as much water as you can, and I swear this will help you feel not as mentally and physically drained. I believe in all of us to accomplish anything at this point, so finish strong, and go Cougs.
Foreign language isn’t a required course to graduate, but for many students who choose to study a foreign language and the Honors College students who have to study a foreign language as a requirement, oral exams are a daunting task. So what is the best way to study for one?
First, find a native speaker. I am studying Japanese as part of my Honors requirements, and I am lucky that my mother is a native Japanese speaker. While not everyone has the same resources I do, talk to your teacher to see if they know of anyone who would be willing to practice speaking with you. Perhaps students further along into the language, or other professors.
Practice with your classmates, maybe even try exclusively talking in the foreign language. I noticed that I get comfortable pretty fast in Japanese, especially if I know I am limited to that language.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Attend office hours, tutoring, anything that you think would be best for you. Maybe even write out the sentences you want to say beforehand.
I think the general advice people hear when studying for finals has to do with eating right, exercising and maybe listening to classical music while studying. But personally, I forget all that.
I eat chocolate to counteract my onset bitterness with sugar. Yes, I do try to exercise, but mostly boxing-related activities. I have found that punching things makes for the best kind of stress relief.
Then, right before I settle down for a long afternoon of chemistry, I make a nice cup of tea and blast Metallica’s “Master of Puppets” in my dorm. Or at least, that’s what I’d call my ideal study session.
When I’m really studying, I go through my notes, all my exams and any study guide the professor provided. I don’t pay attention to what I’m doing aside from stressing out over all material on the final. It’s that chocolate and Metallica in-between the exams and the studying that keeps me sane.