Nervous for Your First Finals? - We’ve Got You Covered
Final exams in college are very different from the finals you took when you were in high school. There is a lot more at stake and a lot more pressure to get the highest score possible to ensure a GPA that will maximize your employment opportunities when you graduate. If you are nervous about taking your first finals, we've got you covered. Explore these tips for how to be prepared and get the best results on your upcoming tests.
Take Power Naps
It can be difficult to get an uninterrupted 7-9 hours of sleep each night during final exams -- mostly due to the pressure to keep studying until the early parts of the morning. If you're having trouble sleeping, try power naps. A power nap is a short bit of sleep you take at some point in the day, usually about 40 minutes long. You would be surprised at how refreshed you may feel after sleeping for just under an hour. Take a break from the books, settle in a comfortable place, and set your alarm to wake you in 40 minutes.
Go to the Library
You are going to have so many distractions if you decide to study for your finals in your dorm room or chapter house. Pack up your Greek lettered tote or backpack and head to the school library to study. It's a place where you'll likely get more peace and the ability to concentrate. If you have a good study buddy, bring him or her along.
Eat Two Good Meals the Day Before an Exam
The day before finals is not the time to stuff yourself with junk food. Take the time to eat at least two meals packed with nutrients and protein. Some ideas include:
- Chef salad (with or without chicken or tuna)
- Steamed broccoli and rice
- Whole grain cereal
- Avocado and eggs
- Fruit salad (mainly with berries)
Also, make sure you have your favorite caffeinated beverage handy in your fraternity or sorority coffee mug for inspiration. Drinking coffee or black tea is a good way to stay alert while you’re studying, but don’t drink so much that you’re bouncing off the walls and lose your focus.
Take Breaks, Breathe, and Meditate
Finals time can be very stressful. Everyone on campus is buzzing around, worrying, and looking like zombies if they haven't gotten proper sleep. That energy can affect you if you let it, so you have to do whatever you can to protect your mental health and wellness.
Take a break every couple of hours or so while studying, close your eyes, and meditate for at least 10 minutes. It will help you maintain balance. There are apps that can help you with this. You might also benefit from a quick five or 10-minute yoga session, which are in abundance on YouTube.
Arrive Early for Your Exams
Whenever possible, arrive at least a half an hour early to your exam room. It will give you a few extra moments to look over your notes and get comfortable in the environment before everyone else starts to arrive. You may have been dreading sitting in that seat for days, but once you're there it may calm you. It also helps to have the information you need fresh on your mind.
No need to be too nervous for your first finals when you use these tips to stay grounded. You've got this -- think of the relief you'll have when you finish all your exams, knowing you did your best, and finally have a chance to reconnect with your sorority sisters and fraternity brothers to enjoy the full perks of Greek life again.