We are now in the home stretch of the semester! It is about time to be hitting final exams. And while you may be feeling another sharp increase in stress right now, this time in the semester also brings excitement for the end of the term and that relaxing summer break. But don’t lose your focus! Now is the make or break time in your classes.
A few things for you to consider as you round out the rest of the school year:
- Keep yourself healthy – this time in the year we spend a lot more time in doors due to the colder, wetter weather. Make sure that you are practicing washing your hands often (or using hand sanitizers), having good respiratory etiquette (sneezing into a tissue or your elbow, not your hands), and stay home or in your room if you are not feeling well. It is tempting to want to come to class even when you are ill, for fear that you will miss something, but your classmates and professors will be glad you chose to stay home. If you are ill, go to the health center.
- Make sure to manage your time well – there are a lot of assignments that will be due at the end of the semester, so don’t get bogged down with them. Breaking them into smaller chunks and working on pieces at a time will help you use the smaller pockets of time you have available during the week. This is especially true when you begin studying for your finals. It may be better to study your material for an hour at three different times during the week, than to wait and study the material in one three-hour chunk.
- Know what finals will look like – Some professors weight finals heavily while for others they are no different than other exams. Some final exams are cumulative across the entire semester, and others only cover the last sections worth of material. If professors don’t talk about the content or weight of your finals exam in class, ask them 1.5 to 2 weeks ahead of time. This will help you study the right material and schedule study time appropriately for each exam.
- Make sure to have fun – stress relief is huge during these time periods, so make sure to schedule in some fun. But be reasonable. Going to a movie at the theater might not be the best use of time since it takes a while to travel there, get your seat, see the movie and come home. But watching a movie in your friend’s room might be ok. Spending four hours on Facebook might not be a good option, but spending 20 minutes there catching up with friends and family might work within your day quite well. So be smart in how you choose your stress relievers.
- Schedule your trip home with your final schedule in mind – Faculty are not allowed to move your final exam to a time other than its regular scheduling, so don’t ask. Be sure to book your flight or train home well after your last final. Leave yourself some time to run around the hall screaming in relief, enjoy one last delicious meal in the DC and get all your suitcases together. Trust us, you will need it!
- Packing will take longer than you think! - Don’t forget to account for the time you will need to pack. Over the last semester or two, your things have multiplied in number. Remembering the night before your hardest final that you need to pack your belongings to take home for that train that leaves 1 hour after your test is not fun. So save yourself the grief and make sure to leave enough time to cram all that stuff into whatever cases you have to take him.
- Are you thinking about summer school? – If so, know that any class you take needs to be pre-approved to meet the general education requirements and/or your major requirements depending on how you are intending the class to count at Westmont. Submit these preapproval forms as needed to the Student Records office asap. Both of these forms can be accessed using the Registrar’s office link on the left hand side of this page, and then scrolling over the “Academic Forms” link.
Best of luck to you all as you conquer the next few weeks!
Coordinator of Academic Advising