Posted December 2, 2021

Finals prep: Fall 2021 edition

With final exams right around the corner, here are some ways to prepare for weeks ahead.

Graphic of coffee, donuts, and pets during finals week

It’s almost time for finals, Owls! We know it’s been a difficult fall following a year of quarantine and learning to return to somewhat normal routines. But we’re here to help with tips and tricks to keep you focused through the last few days of the semester (and yes, therapy animals are included).

Know when your final exams are.
It might sound crazy that someone wouldn’t know when their exams or final presentations are, but when your brain is as full as it is right now, it’s not totally unheard of to forget a few things. Check this official examination schedule so you know exactly how much time you have to cram.

Take advantage of extended hours at the library and TECH Center.
We don’t recommend pulling an all-nighter, but we do know your study schedule during finals week can be irregular, so remember that if the regular hours at Charles Library don’t suit you, the 24/7 study area is open around the clock for you to drop by whenever you’d like—just make sure you bring your OWLcard! 

Also note that during finals week, the TECH Center will be extending its hours of operation, which you can find here

And, if you find yourself staying out late studying, make sure to take the FLIGHT shuttle or call a walking escort to get home safely.

Eat something and acknowledge that drinking coffee doesn’t count as a meal. 
Let’s not forget that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, even if you’re busy. While it might slip your mind to grab breakfast after a late night of studying, we have to remember that food is, indeed, fuel. If you’re at the library, be sure to go to Stella’s Cafe for coffee and other goodies to keep yourself nourished.

Stay present.
Mindfulness hits pause on the chaos of life and invites moments of calm, so it’s a good thing the Wellness Resource Center hosts monthly guided sessions to practice it. Learn how mindfulness and related skills can help alleviate the stresses of finals week on Tuesday, Dec. 7 at 3:30 p.m.

Make study breaks part of your routine.
An often forgotten, but crucial study tip: take breaks. And if you can, take breaks with animals! Studies have shown when we spend time with animals, our brain releases endorphins—brain chemicals that help us de-stress and feel good. So there might be one reason to actually like finals week and that reason might definitely be the therapy dogs. The library’s Crunch Time Café is coming back to us with cute dogs available for petting, cuddling and fixing everything in our lives on Wednesday, Dec. 8 at 1 p.m. If you can’t make it, then check out these cuties from the comfort of your couch. 

Get a good night’s sleep.
DYK that lowering your body temperature leads to a better night’s sleep? Professor of Psychology Marsha Weinraub explains how to achieve this and lays out other recommendations for a good night’s sleep—which you’ll definitely need before your exams.

And finally, don’t refresh your browser every minute checking for your grades.
After you finish everything up, pat yourself on the back and assume you did well instead of stressing yourself out more waiting for that grade. For peace of mind, know that all final grades must be submitted two days after the last day of finals.