A pep talk before finals

By Branwyn Wilkinson

Opinion Contributor

Hey there, you smart and beautiful human. How’s it going?

Now, I know the answer is probably not the best… You’re probably tired. You may be stressed. You may even be sick with the same cold everyone else seems to have caught this week.

But hey! If you’re reading this, you either are done, or are mere hours away from being done, with the last week of classes. Your final papers are written and turned in. Your end of semester presentations are over and done. And all your final exam review sheets are tucked neatly (or perhaps sloppily at this point; I’m not one to judge) into folders to be dealt with at a later date.

In other words, you made it! Week one of the two most stressful weeks of every semester is over. At this point, you are mere days from going home for a glorious month free from school work. So congratulations. You deserve it.

With no Griff fest to celebrate the end of fall semester, make sure to figure out your own way to celebrate this weekend. Hang out with your friends. You could go out to eat. Or you could order in and put on some Christmas music or a movie. You could drive around and sing your heart out. Do whatever floats your boat.

All that’s left now are a few finals, and how hard can those be, really?

Okay, pretty hard. Who am I kidding? But you got this. You have all weekend to study, so make a plan. (No, you don’t need some fancy agenda; a piece of paper will do just fine). If you break up study sessions, the material won’t seem so overwhelming. (Not to mention, you’ll remember it better, but I’m sure we all already know that.) Make sure your plan extends into next week, too. The library may be open 24 hours a day, but that doesn’t mean cramming until 3a.m. the night before an 8a.m. exam is necessarily the best method.

Then again, most of you have done this all before. Remember that. Maybe cramming the night before is what works for you. Or maybe you’ve discovered by trial and error that it most definitely does not.

My point is, you know what methods have gotten the results you wanted in the past. You know how long you can put off studying before you really need to. You know which exams you really need to prepare for, and which ones won’t take as much work.

Remember that you know these things. Each finals week brings new challenges and stress, but you’ve done it before, and you can do it again.

And for the freshmen who have never done this before? Put your textbook down and take a deep breath. You, too, are going to do fine. Maybe this only ever happened to me, but my high school teachers liked to scare me into thinking the difficulty level of college was other-worldly compared to high school.

They were wrong.

If your teachers tried anything like mine, I’m sure you’ve already realized you are far more prepared for college than you thought. Which means you’re prepared for finals week, too.   

Final exams in college are just like any other final exam: studying is a must. Know your stuff. Be confident.

If you do this, you’ll do just fine. Like my high school vice principal used to tell us before every AP exam we took, “trust your brains.”

To this day, I still rely on her method. And you can too. I guarantee that you know more than you think you do.

You got this.


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