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Surviving finals week

final exams coverFinals week is rapidly approaching on the Rollins campus.

For some that means the end of the semester and the start of winter break. For others that means weighty exams, giant papers, and grade-determining presentations all boiling down to stress.

We have all heard the horror stories of finals week, but how is Rollins preparing for the last week of the semester?

“Homework, studying, and food,” said Luis Guerrero ’18. He is attempting to stave off all-nighters through steadily reviewing up until his tests. “It’s stressful, but I’m studying as much as I can, and I feel secure.”

Studying frequently is the optimal technique, but when homework is piling up, many struggle with maintaining those study habits.

Procrastination can quickly become the downfall of even the most dedicated student, especially during finals week.

Under the right amount of stress, Facebook, videogames, email, and anything else can start to feel like logical reason to put off writing that paper or studying those biology flash cards.

“You need to know when to take a study break, and you need to know how long that study break should be,” Cassidy Padal ’18 advised. “That’s where I struggle.”

Developing personalized study techniques or rituals tends to help maintain motivation and ward off procrastination throughout the week, as Nia Morgan ’17 suggested. “Whenever I am done studying for an hour, I treat myself with a nice snack like fro-yo or chocolate. It’s a great incentive.”

The class of 2019 is also gearing up for their first experience with finals as college students. Alexis MacMahon ’19 is already getting organized for the last week of her first semester.

“I’m prepared to be sitting in the library for the next week,” she said, ready to employ her go-to study method: to divide and conquer material.

“I’m probably going to review my notes from class and maybe see if anyone from my classes would be willing to do a study session.”

Once procrastination has surrendered to studying, and once studying has led to finals, the semester will finally be over. Winter break will have begun, and students will receive a well-deserved rest. For seniors, however, this semester’s end is more significant than just another set of final exams and the dawn of winter break.

“It’s weird. It doesn’t feel any different from the end of any other fall semester, but it’s different knowing it’s your last winter break,” Madi Cannini ’16 said. “I’m not thinking as much about finals as I am about what is going to happen next semester—and after that. It’s weird.”

For all students, regardless of year, finals week is the last stop before a month of school-free relaxation. Sometime soon that last exam will end, along with all the stress, and that ball of anxiety settled so tightly in our stomachs will dissolve into butterflies fluttering at the excitement of going home for the holidays.

For now, we will be in the library, alternating between typing out an eight-page paper and flipping through flashcards, preparing ourselves to cross the finish line.

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