Studying For Finals: 2020 At-Home Edition
It's the most wonderful time of the year (almost)
Happy December! 24/7 Christmas tunes, panettone stomach aches, and holiday cheer are fast approaching. But for us students, there's one more stop on the winter 2020 train: finals.
Gone are the days of camping out at the library with large, unproductive-but-emotionally-supportive study groups and midnight bagels. I'm not going to reminisce...Georgetown's library (Lau) ranks low on my list of best places to study. But during finals, Lau got the job done: convenient and definitely appropriate for the ~finals mood~.
Studying at home comes with unique challenges. So, here are my 2020 finals studying suggestions, mostly to set intentions for my own exams coming up next week.
Designate a study space. A room, friend's house, or DIY in-home library cubicle replica if you must. I've studied for high school exams and taken Zoom Uni finals last semester in my (never-used-for-eating) dining room. The space feels official and somber with a slight aura of past stress— studying perfection.
Listen to productivity music. Not my I-need-some-good-tunes-to-set-the-mood playlist. When I need to sink deep into work, I pull out my tried-and-true 3-hour alpha waves video.
Set up live productivity calls. Call a friend and keep video on while you both work silently. Voila, peer pressure used for good (#reengineered).
Schedule studying into your calendar. Reminder and all, just like for class.
Start. Make all your documents for take-home exams and jot down the instructions and ideas. Break the "yikes, I don't know where to start" barrier.
Create a reverse to-do list. Add all the things you'd rather be doing to a list. My brain excels at producing fun distraction ideas when procrastinating (plan a hypothetical trip, look for where to ride horses near me, build a holiday menu...). Listing my creative gems gets them off my mind and saves them for later. Or, use the realistic ideas to...
Schedule other things. Most students cancel everything during finals week to study. But a blank day can be hard to structure. I like to fill my morning or afternoon with something (outings, appointments, calls, etc.) to plan around. Work expands to fill the amount of time you give it, so don't extend your pain, ok? Set up some time constraints.
Take care of yourself. Sleep. Move your body. Stretch. Eat some micronutrients.
Celebrate the end. Set up a special something to celebrate your last exam submission. Personal favorites include donuts, a playlist of YouTube videos I refrained from watching during finals, a long gym sesh, and whatever excites me most from my reverse to-do list.
Good luck! The light at the end of the tunnel approaches— ETA 10 days.