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Finishing Finals: A guide to a steller exam season

Again and again, the months of April, May, and June arrive as soon as they end, and with this season there is always what seems like an endless stream of exams, projects, and finals. Here at Empowered By Vee, we recognize that often at the end of the year, there is a sense of burn-out and a lack of enthusiasm. To make sure you have a great finish to this challenging season, here are some tips:

  1. Start Early 

Get an early start on your projects and assignments. As students who are balancing work, extracurricular activities, and life, we can leave assignments until the last minute and realise we are short for time. So start early and make progress every day if possible. For example, with a research assignment, begin with an outline and an annotated bibliography and then write a page or two each day. With a creative project, write your goals then start producing, editing, or filming. For exams, study, study, study as much as possible. Make sure you make time for rest and self care, as that is as productive as studying.

2. Write To-Do lists

When you are taking multiple classes and doing an internship, it can be difficult to assess what is best to prioritise. The easiest way to organise your responsibilities is to write them out. Write out a list of all your goals and organise them by classes, internships, and work. Crossing these off as you go along can act as proof of the progress you are making. 

3. Reach out to professors

Life happens and sometimes plans don’t always work out. Remember that if you need an extension on work you can always reach out to your professors and let them know. They would definetly understand 9 times out of 10 and grant you the time you need. Especially in more academically rigorous classes, sometimes professors still have office hours for students. So if you are struggling or don’t feel confident in the upcoming exam, reach out to them to discuss the aspects you need more guidance on.

4. Allow yourself to rest and take breaks

 Remember to take breaks when studying and writing. Staring at a screen for too long has a negative effect not only on your mental well-being but also on your physical well-being. Typing away on your computer is a sedentary activity so don’t forget to get up and take a walk, go on a run (one of our volunteers' favourite activities), and recharge outdoors in nature. 

5. Countdown the days

Knowing that summer is just around the corner can boost your motivation to complete all of your projects and exams as soon as possible. So counting down the days until the end of finals can be a great way to visualise that.

6. Sleep

We know this one seems obvious but for so many college students who are stressed about taking exams, we do not sleep nearly as much as we should. We are all fully aware that research has proven getting sleep not only helps you think more properly

but has a sharper ability to problem solve. Do not stay up, and do not pull all-nighters. Getting sleep before an exam is crucial.

 Again on the self-care route, eating and nourishing your body helps your mind. Make sure to take care of yourself, especially during stressful times such as finals. Try to eat with friends and make sure to stay hydrated with lots of water.

8. Handwriting Notes and Reminders

We recommend when studying for tests to try to handwrite your work whether that be physics and algebraic equations or your rough outline for an assignment. Research has confirmed that people learn better when they handwrite and also taking a break from your screens is good rest for your eyes.

9. Reflect and Wait

This is that anticipated time when you are complete with finals, with that 15-page research assignment or ten-minute documentary and you just don’t know what to do with yourself. Don’t stress yourself out worrying about grades. Be proud of yourself for reaching the end and just be patient. Grab lunch with your graduating friends and take some time to celebrate loved ones.

A note to those graduating:

We know many of you are graduating and closing this extremely important chapter in your life. We want you to know that we are rooting for you, whatever you decide to do post-graduation. Whether you are still searching for a job or have already landed one or you are finalising your grad program, We at EBV believe in you and your potential. Congratulations to all our 2024 graduates! And a special shout out to all of you who identify as first-generation and or come from a low-income background.

Remember the rest of your story is unwritten so pick up a pen and start writing.

For all of you who still have one or more years left in university life, make the most of your time left. And rest this summer!

Good Luck to you all!!!

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