By JESSICA MATHEWS
Every year finals week comes to the dismay of thousands of students, but it does not have to be stressful if students learn proper ways to plan and schedule.
Employees of the Career and Learning Information Center and other students share their secrets of success in the midst of the finals week madness.
The CLIC provides students with free semester and weekly schedules where students can plan each day and hour they need to study, said Sara Spencer, a senior majoring in statistics, who works in the CLIC.
“I like using those when I’m feeling stressed out and don’t feel like I can get everything done,” she said. “I can write everything in and see, on paper, that I’m going to be able to get it all done.”
Several students have found this technique to be useful.
“I do two-hour blocks [of studying] because that’s all I can take,” said Becky Mortensen, a sophomore majoring in recreation management.
She said she forces herself to sit down for two hours to study and then allows herself to take a break.
Allowing that time to relax is another useful study technique.
“Taking breaks is really important,” said Nathan Walch, a sophomore majoring in communications, who works in the CLIC. “The only problem is to make sure you set a time limit.”
He said it is easy to get distracted when you are having fun, but students should return to the books after taking a break.
“No one can focus forever,” Spencer said. “It’s good to be able to take breaks. You’ll be able to study better.”
She said sometimes a few deep breaths are all one needs before hitting the books again.
“Sometimes you just get fed up and you have to get outside or do something,” said Mauri Stotts, a senior majoring in recreation management. “It’s really hard with the nice weather to just stay inside and look at your books.”
“Reward yourself,” said Theresa Balaguy, a junior majoring in neuroscience, who works in the CLIC. “If you study all day Wednesday, then go rock-climbing.”
Some students have found the reading days to be good opportunities to relieve some finals week stress.
“I try to study the week before the reading days and then on reading days will just have fun and get rid of stress,” said Ashley Mortensen, a freshman majoring in pre-nursing. She suggested hanging out with friends or riding horses.
After a student has planned a perfect schedule, balanced with studying and relaxing, it is important to plan where one will be studying.
“You have to find somewhere where you’re going to be able to stay focused and not be distracted,” Spencer said. “Not on your bed where you’re going to fall asleep and probably not on your couch where a bazillion people come over and visit all the time.”
Most students have their own favorite study place.
“I’ve found that if I don’t go home it’s always the best idea,” Becky Mortensen said. ” I go to the library, or even the Wilkinson Center.”
The library, however, does not work for everyone when preparing for finals.
“I can’t study in the library because there are too many people,” Stotts said. “My living room is the best place for me to study, when there’s no one home.”
A student might have the perfect schedule and favorite study spot planned, but the most important thing during finals week is too actually sit down and study.
“You have to find something that motivates you, even if it’s just for the grade,” Balaguy said.