Staying focused during finals
Happy December everyone! I hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving break and everyone was able to relax and spend some time with family. I had a nice time over break with my family, spending time eating pumpkin pie and working on puzzles (sort of a holiday tradition in my family). Now I feel recharged and ready to finish out this semester, even though I know it won’t be easy. The month of December is pretty much filled with quizzes, exams and papers for most, if not all, UW-Stevens Point students as the semester wraps up and professors fit in what they need for their courses. I also feel that this can be a time that is easy to get distracted and procrastinate things that need to be done. I thought I would share some of my tips to help stay focused on school during this last stretch of the semester.
My first tip is to do what you can ahead of time and simply avoid procrastinating. I know this one might seem obvious, but so many people seem to ignore it around this time of the semester. Right now is a good time to quickly get some easy things out of the way before you have to really think about studying for finals. Have a paper as a final for a class or need to give a presentation next week? Try to get it done this week so that’s off your plate and you’ll have more time to focus on things that are more important and take more time. Also just try to avoid procrastinating on anything if possible. I feel that procrastinating turns into a downward spiral that ends up with me getting almost nothing done and feeling stressed out. Just deal with it and get some work done, that’s at least what I tell myself when I’m sulking over homework and things.
Secondly, try to tackle one project at a time. When you look at everything you need to do and try to fit too much in during a short period of time, it can be overwhelming and probably lead to you doing nothing at all (see above for procrastination haha). I advise making a to-do list in order of importance and work your way down the list. You’ll probably get more work done than you’ll realize and you’ll feel accomplished.
This next tip always gets to me; don’t let holiday shopping take priority over school! I love shopping for gifts for my friends and family and I tend to think that is more important than studying. Especially with the easy access to online shopping, one minute I’m writing a paper and the next I’m buying a present for everyone I’ve ever met. If you’re like me, try and just not. I know it can be hard but just ask yourself, “Which would my mom like better: a new kitchen appliance or for me to not fail out of school?” After finals week there will be plenty of time to shop and be merry and not feel guilty about doing that instead of schoolwork.
My last tip to share is a fun one—spend time with your friends … studying! Everyone wants to hang with friends, especially since you might not see them until the new year once this semester is done, but we all have work to do. Realize that you’re not alone feeling overwhelmed with schoolwork and probably most of your friends are in the same boat. Get together and have a study session, then you get to hang out and get things done!
So there you have it, a couple simple tips to help with your studying and staying focused around this time of year. I wish you all good luck and a happy holidays!
Alexia Szabo is a junior majoring in economics, Spanish and international studies at UW-Stevens Point.