That famous time of the year has finally reached Pacific campus, when the usually loud and energetic students are now going in and out of buildings with hunched shoulders, heavy feet and dark circles under their eyes. This change of air is not because of the weather, but because of something more daunting: finals week.
From Dec. 3 until Dec. 10, students will most likely be hidden behind their textbooks or laptop screens as they try to soak up as much information as they can before they take that exam the following morning. However, despite the potential stress, there are students that are seeing the end of the semester in a more positive light.
Creative Writing major Michele Ford admits that she’s not as worried about her finals as expected.
“I care. I care about my grades, but I also understand that if I can’t do something (about them) that’s something I have to own up to,” Ford, said, said. “And I’ll admit, if I’m not feeling good about a project, but it’s due the next day, and I’m staying up until 2:00 a.m., I’ll just go to bed, because I need sleep. Health is more important than the grade that I get on some class I’ve been taking for three months of my life.”
Of course, Ford understands that the stress levels of a student during finals can be affected by their major.
“I feel that as an English major, there’s sort of lower stress than the science majors. The other thing [with] English finals, if you haven’t been keeping up with the reading during the school year, you’re probably not going to be able to do well on the final. If you want to do it all on reading day, it’s just not going to happen, so for English, I tend to not really study too hard.”
This is one of the greatest pieces of advice when it comes to finals: don’t wait until the last minute to study.
“If you give yourself enough of a buffer zone, and start studying earlier than you think you need to, you can spend less time cramming,” junior Kevin Fulfs said. “Spread that out, and you can still give yourself the freedom to do those fun things and de-stress when you need to. That’s something I learned my first year, because I crammed, and it was terrible.”
Another way for students to make it easy on themselves is knowing what exactly to study for. Being a Biology major Christina Bone is well aware of the importance of this.
“For biology, you kind of have to know what the teacher expects,” Bone, junior, said. “Some teachers want you to have broader general knowledge, some teachers want you to be really focused on certain topics. If you don’t know what’s going to be on your final, ask your professors. They’re here to help you. Make sure that you know what you’re trying to study, and don’t try to wing it, because that rarely works, so try to study in the way that works best for you.”
Of course, as vital as studying is, each student should put in at least a few hours for down time.
“I’d say that it’s really important to take a break,” Ford said. If you’re doing work consistently, and studying for hours a day, you need to have some downtime to recharge, and not be a student for a while. You should always have that mindset of ‘Yeah, I’m a student, I have responsibilities, and an image I need to maintain, but I love to watch Netflix.’ After working on a paper for a few hours, I’m going to do that.”