Finals week is one of the most agonizing times of the year for any college student. Whether it’s for an easy class or the most impossible class ever, students often drag themselves into class to take a test they don’t look forward to. We asked students from all different majors how they handle the stress tests and what they do to prepare.
“I’m majoring in sports management,” sophomore John Hall said, “because I’ve always had a passion for sports. I thought I may as well pick something I’m going to enjoy doing rather than hating my future job and being unhappy. I’m a huge New York fan, so I’m hoping I can luck out there with the Knicks or a team like that. I’m open to a lot of different things.”
Hall said the most difficult challenges for him when it comes to studying is staying on task.
“I constantly either go on my phone or go get something to eat, or even just watch TV for a little bit,” he said. “I never take the time to just sit and study for long periods of time. It’s not my thing.”
Freshmen Gabrielle Dispenza said finding the motivation to sit down and study is the most difficult part of finals week. “And being able to juggle all of the end-of-the-semester due dates,” she said. “I cannot motivate myself to study because it is such a large and time-consuming task, and because I take such tough courses, I am very busy at the end of this semester.”
Dispenza who is working on a nursing degree struggles most in anatomy saying “it involves a lot of memorization and higher level conceptual understanding.” As for Hall, he said, “It’s probably going to be my early American history final that’s my biggest struggle class-wise, just because of all the material we have to know and all the little details. For example, we have to know certain dates for certain events.”
Freshman Sean Williamson said, “Calculus is an absolute nightmare. To anyone who is taking it, I’ll pray for you too, because it is, by far, my hardest course right now because I struggle with derivatives. It’s the hardest math class I’ve ever taken because it’s a cumulative course of every math I’ve ever learned.”
This is around the time of year that many students think of changing their majors, but all three seem to be moving forward in their chosen fields.
“There are so many on-campus resources to use if I’m struggling,” Williamson said. “Also, the friends I’ve made in my classes are always willing to help out or study together with me.”
Hall said he loves his major, but the courses he’s taking right now aren’t really relevant to his major.
“The classes I’m taking right now are just extra classes for credits around my major,” he said. “Once I complete all of that, then I’ll start taking courses involving my major.”
Dispenza said she’d never reconsider changing her major “because I know it will lead me to my dream profession in nursing.”
Whether you’re a student that studies throughout the entire week or the night before, these three students have felt your pain.
Hall prefers studying all night before the test. “I’m the type of person to cram the night before the test,” he said. “I think the reason I do it is because I’m lazy, and I don’t want to do it, so I end up doing it at the very last minute. Plus, I feel like I won’t retain all the information as well if I start studying really early. It’s just pointless for me.”
Williamson said his exams have been easy so far. “Most of my classes, I can just look over the material the night before and the morning of my final,” he said. “But for calc, I’ve made sure to start early so that I can really do well on this final and keep my grade where it is.”
Dispenza was one of the few saying, “Usually I have to study for at least two or three days leading up to the final in order to ensure that I have enough time to review all of the material thoroughly.”
All three students offered advice.
“Don’t procrastinate,” Dispenza warned. “Finals week is stressful enough, and you need as much sleep as you can get in order to do well on your exams.”
Turn off your phone. “When you sit down to study, turn your phone off and make sure you have snacks to keep you slightly busy so you don’t just sit there staring at your books and computer screen,” Williamson said.
Hall cautioned, “I would say to definitely use your time wisely. Also spread your studying time out over a week rather than cram it all in one night. Even if you think the final is going to be easy, still study. I’ve learned this in pass semesters, and it hasn’t panned out well for me, so definitely plan on studying ahead of time.”