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The Month Before Finals

More like the dreaded month before dreaded finals, am I right college students? We're all around that one month or so mark before finals week and nothing seems to be dying down. That's just how it goes though. Class continues like normal and then you tack on all of the extra work necessary to prepare yourself for finals week. It's a pretty sucky set-up, but that's just life as a college student. Luckily, there are a few things you can do in the mean time to at least somewhat prepare yourself for finals week and all of the studying that comes along with it.

1. Write down your due dates and exams dates and commit them to memory

I think I only have one final exam this semester and four final projects, so mine mostly revolves around the idea of needing to know when my projects are due. Most of them are due during what would have been our exam time, which makes it easier to keep track of when I need to get them done by. In your agenda or notebook or whatever you use to keep yourself organized, write down the date, time and even the place if it happens to not be in the room where your classes are normally held. If it's a final project, make sure you know what is due when and that you plan accordingly.

2. Make outlines and brainstorm

This is more along the lines of final projects rather than final exams, but it's still nice to outline your chapters or what you need to know for that final exam. I'm going to use my coursework as an example because, well, this is life according to Francesca after all and because it's what I'm the most familiar with. I have, over the course of the next four weeks, two movie projects, a final multimedia story, a feature story, and a publication design portfolio due. I spent all afternoon yesterday brainstorming ideas for the video stories, multimedia project, and feature story so I could start doing my research and legwork early. If I would have waited until the last minute, first thing, my professors would probably be like "what the heck girl, this is due in like two weeks and your ideas are the worst, fix it" and then I'd probably cry because of stress. Writing out all of your ideas (even the bad ones!) is a great way to put your thoughts into words so you don't forget them and so you can see what you're thinking of and can edit accordingly.

3. Remember that you still have four weeks to breathe

While preparation is definitely a good idea, just remember that you still have your normal classes to get through during this time. Don't stress too much about the impending final dates because you still have time to relax(ish)(can any college student truly relax?).

4. Plan ahead and start ASAP

If you have the ability and opportunity to chip away slowly at a project, do it. Do it immediately and don't look back. If you take your time on something and give yourself the opportunity to fine tune and edit, you're ultimately going to have a better product than if you rushed last minute to just get it done. Start early and give yourself ample time to finish so you're not pulling all-nighters in three weeks time to try to make something worthy of a C (which, I would like to stress, is not a bad grade).

5. Ask questions for clear guidelines

Again, this is probably geared more towards final projects and not exams (though you could certainly ask exactly what is expected of you for the final exam). Don't just accept the rubric without asking questions. Even if it is the most clear and pristine and well laid out rubric in the entire world, ask for clarification. Ask for an example. Ask for something so you know just what is expected of you for the project. You don't want to jump into it blindly and find out that you actually needed three more parts that you didn't include in the first place. It's better to be thorough up front rather than trying to play catch up last minute later on down the line.

How are you preparing for finals week? Or is it out of sight, out of mind?


  1. I feel like everyone waits until the last minute to start studying and then they get upset/anxious because they feel so overwhelmed with all the work they have to do!

    with southern grace,


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