Op-Ed: De-stress tips for finals week

UT students gear up for finals as the fall semester of 2019 comes to a close.

It’s that time of year when the holidays are underway and the only thing that is keeping you from enjoying the Christmas movies and holiday parties is finals.

Finals can be a stressful time in the semester where everything revolves around how much there is to study. However, there are some tips and tricks to relieve some of that stress.

First, making a list and organizing all of the material that needs to be studied will help you in not forgetting anything that needs to be done. Especially around the holiday season, it is easy to forget everything that needs to be accomplished.

Getting a calendar and writing down important dates of each project and final is important when organizing. This is also a useful tip for the beginning of each semester. Writing down when each assignment or test is due helps in being prepared.

Another tip in helping to relieve stress during finals is to start working a bit each day. Study a few minutes every day for each test a couple of weeks before the test date. Studying in smaller sessions improves retention due to primacy and recency effects, which means that the information studied at the beginning will be easier to recall than the information at the end. This will ensure that there will be enough time to study for each class.

Autumn Mitchell, a freshman at UTK, says, “What I’ve found works best is reviewing all of the vocab a week before and then focusing on more difficult words in the upcoming days.”

Mitchell also mentions, “I have found that rereading over all of your notes every day for a week leading up to the test is also very beneficial.”

The third stress-relief tip for finals is to give yourself alone time. While studying is important, mental health and self-care is just as important and will give you a positive and peaceful mindset going into the exams. This includes eating a healthy meal and possibly even prepping meals the week before finals.

Alone time might include exercising in a low-stress environment, attending a sporting event or relaxing and watching a movie.  This will take your mind off the stresses of finals week.

Skylar Parks, a freshman at UTK, gives her study tips: “I like to go to the quiet floors at Hodges Library to study. That is where I can focus and get the most done since it is a different environment than my dorm room.”

Parks also includes: “I like to make “quizlets” as well to study for my exams because it is a useful tool in organizing all of the material.”

In addition to these tips, getting a good night’s sleep is important for functioning throughout the day. Sleep lowers the “stress hormone,” cortisol, and improves mental alertness. Sleep is required to recall all of the information that has been absorbed. Sleep deprivation decreases the ability to concentrate when studying and during the exam.

The University of Tennessee provides many resources including free tutoring sessions. This includes math tutoring at “The Math Place” in Hodges Library. The “Student Success Center” also includes tutoring across a variety of subjects, academic coaching, and group study sessions.

Edited by Maddie Torres and Grace Goodacre

Featured image courtesy of UT Libraries twitter page

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