By Tahlia Terhune, Columnist

That November is flying by and that December is on the horizon can only mean one thing for Pacific Lutheran University students: finals are just around the corner.

Professors are trying to finish covering class material and students are beginning to realize they only have a limited amount of days to get the best grade they can.

With the realization of how close finals season is upon us, I began to get stressed. Finding time during my weekends has become a rare luxury, and I cannot imagine how I will begin to squeeze in time to study for finals.

It’s the same thing every year. Finals sneak up and next thing you know, the third floor of the library is packed and students fill study rooms. The panic ensues when students realize they may not be as prepared as they think, or they feel as if they couldn’t be prepared enough.

I know that I’m not alone in this chaotic period of time. NBC News reported on a survey conducted by The Associated Press that nearly one in every five students said they feel stressed all or most of the time.

No wonder finals become an added level of stress to our weekly routines. Students from all across the Pacific Lutheran University campus had a variety of answers when reflecting on how they handle their finals. Answers ranged from sobbing in the shower and questioning life to flash cards for reading, writing and verbalizing material.

Sophomore Sara Suznevich said, “I drink coffee, delete all my social networks from my phone, third floor it in the library for a week and try to go home for that weekend to study better.”

Having techniques that work for you will boost your confidence during finals week and enable you to not feel as rushed or stressed. However, it is important to remember to take a breather.

One student said her planner gets so overwhelmed with to-do lists and study sheets that she has to plan for times to relax and get sleep. Acknowledging that you need to be refreshed through relaxing, healthy eating and sleep will make a critical difference in your performance throughout finals.

In the midst of studying, the importance of taking care of ourselves is easily lost. Rewarding yourself after a hard day’s worth of studying is important. Set a goal for yourself that if you study you will do something you enjoy that evening.

Having perks will boost your motivation and create positive affirmation in study habits. Once you acknowledge your hard work you should compliment yourself on what you’ve accomplished. Positive self-speech is a great way to gain confidence.

U.S. News has a suggested top five ways students can prepare for finals, the first being to plan your schedule. I find that time always slips away the closer the clock ticks towards finals.

Preparing your schedule and physically seeing what needs to be done helps give you focus. Setting reasonable expectations is another highly encouraged suggestion.

This doesn’t apply just to finals but to your schedule as well. Don’t overload your schedule — give yourself some flexibility.

Other important factors included on the list were to take care of yourself physically, eat well and utilize the resources available to you.

At PLU, we can find an abundant amount of resources available. Professors hold office hours, and though they may seem daunting at first, students should take advantage of them. Professors are there to help us and are more than willing to do so.

If something is foggy or unclear, take it up with your professor. There is also the Academic Assistance Center located in the library, room 124. They have tutors for a range of subjects and can also offer help in time management, critical reading, note taking and study tips.

Students need to take a breather and not let finals get the best of them. By organizing your schedule properly, you’ll save yourself the trouble later on. Know what needs to get done and know that you deserve some time to yourself. ◼︎

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