Editorial: add some method to your madness

It’s finals season again, and somehow  things are just as stressful as they’ve ever been. There may come a day when college students collectively feel prepared for the frenzied rush that is finals, but that day isn’t here yet. In the meantime, here’s a few ways to add some method to your madness:


Say no to things you don’t have to do: People you know will always be moving apartments. It’s a fact of life. And they’ll always need your help. Unfortunately for them, your studies need you too. It can be harder to say no to things like going out with friends, but if you budget your time wisely you can still have a bit of fun during finals. More on that to come.


Say yes to taking reasonable breaks: Maybe you know someone who can work for eight hours straight, writing two papers, learning a vocabulary set and solving half a dozen advanced mathematical proofs. Maybe you are that person. But if you aren’t, remember that a good break in the middle of a study session is a great idea. It’s more valuable to spend two hours at full capacity with half an hour relaxing in between than it is to spend one hour at full capacity, one hour at half capacity and half an hour wondering why you always do this to yourself.


Plan ahead: Know your schedule, know what days your finals are and try to block out time in advance for studying. Make it a priority to complete certain projects certain days, but know that you may have to be a little flexible; things have a tendency not to work out perfectly at this time of the semester. If you have a good idea of what needs to be done when though, you can weather that storm. And if you stay optimistic and (more or less) on track, you may still be able to carve out some time to get out with friends and decompress a little.


Ask for help: Office hours are a resource many students drastically underutilize. It’s free access to the people that have all the answers for a course; you probably won’t get a list of answers for the final, but you can make sure you’re at least heading in the right direction. Remember that your classmates are an excellent resource too. Your weak areas in a subject may be one of your classmates’ strengths, and vice versa. Help each other out by studying together, and maybe you can find the right balance to not only survive finals week, but achieve that highest of goals: not failing any classes.