Student Snippets A Window Into The Daily Life & Thoughts of SLIS Students

Study Tips and Tricks to Help Get you Through Finals

Jill Silverberg

As I enter the final weeks of my first semester as a member of GSLIS, I’m somewhat in shock with the realization that it is almost over. Of course, it won’t be officially over until I get past the dreaded final weeks of the semester. Basically, in college terms, I’m stuck in the middle of what I affectionately call ‘academic crunch time.’ To anyone who has ever been a college student, they are probably familiar with this window of time; it tends to usually crop up whenever there are midterms or finals floating around. Now, as a four-year seasoned pro when it comes to dealing with finals and midterms, I’ve developed a few strategies for handling the stress. Of course, now that I’m in the big leagues that is grad school, I’ve had to adapt to a few changes, the fact that I’m not within proximity of a my school’s library being the biggest of them all.  Now I know that I am not the only one who has to cope with the changes that come with being a grad student, but if others can get through this academic version of Mt. Everest then so can I.

Since I seem to be a fan of creating lists, I thought that the time was ripe for another one. So, for everyone’s viewing pleasure, behold my top 4 study habits and tricks.

  1. Relax: the most important and essential trick deserves its spot as number one. Without a doubt, keeping a sane mind during this extremely stressful period is the only way you are going to get through this. Seriously, I’ve seen people (including myself) go slightly bonkers with stress and worry. But here’s the trick, taking a few relaxing breaks every now and then will really make a difference. Whether it’s going for a walk, taking a an hour long gym break, or simply watching an episode or two of Breaking Bad will give your over-worked mind a chance to cool down.
  2. Give yourself goals: having something to keep you trucking forward is always handy, especially if you have to write a ten plus page paper. I know it sounds kind of silly but having a reward system in place will supply you with the impetus to get to the bottom of page fourteen.
  3. Take it one day at a time: yea it is somewhat related to point number one but I feel that this is an essential tidbit of information that one should always keep in mind. Yes, it might seem like you are facing the impossible and that time is slipping away but acting like every tomorrow is doomsday is really only going to make things worse. The trick here is to do what ever you need to do to help you get through the day. If scheduling different stretches of time to focus on specific assignments is your things, then do it! Every little bit helps.
  4. Find some white noise for studying: if you are like me and love to multitask, then having something playing in the background might actually do more good then harm. At least for me, I find having something playing in the background really helps me maintain some form of balance. In other words, it keeps me grounded and stops me from getting too engrossed. Yes, I know that it sounds crazy, trying to not get too engrossed into an essay but sometimes, that’s the last thing you want. Getting to the point where you are on the verge of breaking down into tears because you can’t seem to stop writing the same sentence is never a good place to be. Having some white noise in the background will (hopefully) keep you level headed, allowing your mind to wander for just a few indulgent moments.