That’s right my friends it’s time for the most stressful two to three weeks of your life FINALS SEASON. I personally have a love-hate relationship with finals and the respective classes I’ve taken in the past. I have either passed my finals or failed terribly but one thing that I always tell myself when it comes to this time period is “it is what it is.” You can only study for certain times of the day otherwise you risk feeling of being burnt out. That’s why I want to talk about habits I like to get into when finals season comes up. Along with some apps and items that have helped me get myself together for this stressful time.
Make Study Schedules
This seems obvious but let’s just say that college students love to leave things to the last minute. Mostly because we have a billion other things going on in our heads during this period of the semester. I can’t stress this enough, plan out your time from when and what subject you will be studying for. I’ll give you guys some examples of what you can use for classes or help you will finals season. My plan is to dedicate 90 minutes to my final concept map for my class called Contemporary Environmental Issue. It’s not due until finals week itself but it’s good to get a head start on getting it done before the due date itself. Since this is one of the harder classes I have this semester I dedicate more time to it than my other classes this semester. Then I’ll dedicate at least 60 to 90 minutes to my Creative Writing Portfilo because this one is due earlier within the ending weeks of the semester I’ll focus on this one more than the concept map while my final speech for my Rhetoric class I’ll dedicate at least 30 to 60 minutes on perfecting the speech itself. This is my plan to succeed to the best ability and it may not work for you so just make sure you know exactly how you study and learn the content in your respective classes.
Apps That Students Need (I Use These Apps)
If you’re like me and don’t really like writing your notes on paper and pen then you could use a tablet or iPad and use GoodNotes or Onenote. I use Onenote because I use a surface pro to write my notes with my mac book to take the note off of. If you have an iPad then you can use GoodNotes because it is only compatible with apple products. I love using Onenote to insert my lecture slide show into the different notebook sections and paper. That way I can look at the slides in front of me not worrying about if I’ll miss something on the slides. You might be thinking well do you re-write all the slides, and the answer is it depends on the subject. For more content-heavy classes, I rewrite the notes in my own terms so it makes sense to me and only me. Mostly because if you don’t know how you study then that can throw you off when you’re trying to study for college classes. I will say that it might just be easier to get a tablet of some sort because we do live in a world of technology. I’ve found that I find myself using it so much more ever since I started college, but I do keep a notebook just in case I need to be in a class that doesn’t use technology.
If you guys are like me then you have a hard time focusing. Some people will tell me just to sit down and do it but I can’t just do that without some type of reason to sit down. That’s why I use this app called Forest to do this study technique called the Pomodoro technique which is typically 25 minutes of work with a 5 minutes break but I typically don’t do that. I usually do either 60 to 90 minutes of work with a 20 to 30-minute break depending on the subject I’m working on, but let’s get back into what Forest is. Forest is an app that you set a time to while you have a tree growing. You can choose what kind of tree you are growing during the study time. You can put labels on classes, reading, cleaning, or even working. I use it a lot to give myself something to look forward to whenever I grow a tree for my Forest. You earn coins and once you earn enough coins you can buy more trees and plants to plant in your forest within the app itself. I got this app after one of my favorite study YouTubers recommended it to me who is also a college student as well. It’s a great way to reward yourself if you don’t have the motivation to study or just want something to look forward to when you plant different trees, flowers, and other items. The only thing about it is that it does cost $4.99 upfront but I still highly recommend using Forest because this is one of my favorite apps to use when studying or working on projects for school items. Along with keeping me on track and it’s a great way for me to remind myself to take those much need breaks.
I’m pretty sure if you’re a student you have gotten at least one to million ads about Grammarly. I use Grammarly a lot but I use the free version. I’ve thought about getting the premium version that helps will spelling, reworking sentence structure, and grammar of course. I do think that this app is very effective when it comes to writing assignments, emails, and even blog posts. Grammarly is checking this post when I write it, when I left, and do more editing. I mostly like using this but it can get a little repetitive at the same time this is a very helpful tool, but I will say that you should also reread those your assignment and just anything you write. Being an English major I do use this program a lot because it makes my writing seem more professional in many ways. Grammarly is free but you can also get a premium version that helps with more things to help with your writing. Do I recommend this app, yes I do but start with the free version and if you do have the money I suggest that you upgrade if you can. For my purposes and status at this moment I use the free version just perfectly fine.
Productivity or To-Do List
If you guys are on study tube then you have probably heard of Notion at one time or another time during study vlogs. I pretty much do everything with that app and it’s some fun. It’s completely free and you can customize your boards to your liking. I took inspiration from Breanna Quan’s notion template and I’ll put some pictures on the post because I love using this app. I organize my school items, daily items, my podcast work, and other items. I have weekly schedules and course schedules for the semester so once this semester ends I’ll make one for the upcoming one and revise it if needed. I highly recommend getting this app because it’s free and it’s easy to use and customize. And if you don’t know what to start out with a board then you can always use templates that notion has made or even people on youtube who use notion. Anyways, if you need an organization you should use Notion.
I use Google Calendar to remind myself to go to classes. It seems like an obvious tool but sometimes people don’t understand how useful this really is. I put in the classes shown on my syllabus and input it into my calender with times, locations, and a timer to let me know to go to class. It’s very useful because if you have classes that are canceled you can just remove the event to remind yourself that you don’t have class. I use my email to connect to my google calendar to access the calendar on my computer. It’s super useful to keep you on track if you lose track of time easily. Mostly because it holds you accountable so you’re not late to class. I suggest using this to remind yourself to go to class so you don’t fall asleep or forget about your class.
I’m pretty sure you guys know all about Quizlet. I recommend this app because it’s so useful. I use this to make flashcards, learning tools, and sometimes test functions. Plus if you are in college or are in high school you can look for pre-made sets for certain classes. That’s what I did and do when I don’t have time to be able to make a set of flashcards or need some help with my exams. I’ll get you an example of how I use it. For my Cultural Anthropology class, I had a year ago, I made sets for different exams and used the learn function to learn the content I put into Quizlet. I’ve used this since middle school because my teachers would have us use it for Quizlet Live and other things to learn the content. I recommend using this along with looking up pre-made sets for certain classes if you don’t have time to make a set for a certain class.
When I was doing math classes my teacher would put clips from Khan Academy to use as extra help when it came to learning concepts. I won’t be able to take a math or science class until my sophomore year so I’ll more than likely take some crash courses through Khan Academy. I’m an English major so math isn’t my strong suit but I like to keep my head within math. I’ll more than likely take the courses over winter break to keep in the study loop so I don’t lose my flow. This may even help with getting concepts in your mind about subjects that are hard to grasp. This is a pretty good source when it comes to trying to figure out concepts that you struggle with in different subjects.
Take Breaks and Self Care
I can’t stress this enough but it’s good to take your breaks and not overwork yourself when it comes to Finals Season. I know that it can be hard for us to let us have a break or even take care of myself but I’ll get you guys some tips on how I take care of myself when Finals Season comes around.
As I’ve said before I like to use the Forest app to keep myself focused on a take for 60 to 90 minutes, depending on the subject. During those breaks, I either read, watch youtube, tv, play games, or just walk around. Typically when I work for 90 minutes I take a 30-minute break to either read or watch an episode of a tv show and during that 60-minute work time, I take a 15-20 minute break. During that break, I either watch a youtube video or walk around and stretch. It’s important to always walk and never stay stationary for too long. If I’m walking around, I normally walk around my dorm hall and the neighboring one. If I’m studying in a different building around campus, I walk to the bathroom and take a walk around to get back to my spot. Plus even taking these breaks may seem like you don’t deserve this but trust me you deserve a break.
I know that during Finals Season you may or may not think you deserve to do some self-care, but trust me you deserve it. When I do self-care I either continue writing one of my books, my skincare routine, take a nap, or just put on a comfort movie. I’m an English major so I’m currently working on a book I want to publish in the future so writing comforts me when Finals Season hits. Even if you don’t feel like you deserve self-care trust me you do. You need to take care of yourself in order to have yourself at your best.
Make sure that you hang out with friends and always take your breaks. Finals Season can physically and emotionally destroy you, don’t let that happen. If you take some of these tips or have your own way of taking care of yourself then that’s good. I just wanted to end off by saying you guys got this. You’ll all pass your exams and do good on your projects. I hope you guys do good on your finals and have a great winter break. Thanks again, for reading this post, and hope you all have a great day, week, month, and year.