Tips for Dead and Finals Week

The dreaded final weeks of the semester may seem scary, but they’re anything but when prepared

Many NDSU students, particularly freshmen, might be worried about the daunting, nerve-wracking final weeks of their fall semester. Whether it be hard classes or a large course load that’s stressing you out, there are plenty of reasons to fear dead week and finals. However, following some of these steps can keep you feel confident and ready to take on the challenge of finishing out those hard courses.

What stresses you out?

Whether it be public speaking, large papers or group projects, it’s important to know what’s required in each of your courses for their final assignments. It’s arguably even more important to know which of these stresses you out the most. If you’re slightly nervous about giving presentations in front of the entire class, that would be one of the top priorities for preparation and practice beforehand.

Taking the time and focusing attention on the final formats that scare you the most will prepare you more than you can imagine. Rather than running away from those fears, it’s best to take them head-on with enthusiasm. As sad as it is to hear, there isn’t any option to change the format of your final, and you’ll have to present or work in a group regardless of what you prefer. Getting in the right headspace beforehand through practice will make you much more confident when the time comes.

Pay attention to deadlines

Many final exams may take place during finals week, but there are plenty of other deadlines to keep an eye out for. Some projects may be due during dead week or days before students will present them. Prioritizing which projects you work on in the order of when they’re due may be in your best interest.

Just because one “sounds easier” than the rest, but is due the soonest, doesn’t necessarily mean you should work on the other ones first. Those easy projects may turn out to be much harder than you’d expect and cramming them until the last minute is the worst thing you can do for high-point projects in your courses.

Prioritize yourself

While you may be stressed out about different classes having various expectations and requirements, it’s still crucial to take time for yourself and preserve your mental health. Striving for eight hours of sleep every night, getting a workout in and simply relaxing are some of the best things you can do during these hard times.

Taking time for yourself and away from the textbook is arguably just as important as studying and preparing, as you don’t want to overdo it and burn yourself out before you make it to the finish line.

Study, study, study!

Public speaking presentations and long papers may stress students out the most, but that doesn’t mean that they should forget about studying for the exams in other courses. Waiting to study until the night before has never proven to be effective and it can dramatically drop final scores if studying didn’t start days or weeks beforehand. Retaining that information will keep a student from getting test anxiety once they enter the classroom.

While things may have been easier over Zoom as professors encouraged open-note, open-book exams, that’s not as common now that we’re back in the classroom. It’s important to spread your time wisely and prepare for all possible finals that you’ll have, rather than solely focusing on one or two.

Go in confident!

After all this time preparing, there’s no point in getting in your own head and worrying about the outcome. You’ve studied the books, practiced presentations and gotten as ready as you can for the home stretch. There’s no turning back now! Remind yourself that you’ve done as much as you can, and whatever is going to happen, will happen. At this point, keeping your head up and giving it all you’ve got with full confidence will keep you in the right mindset to ace those finals.

You’ve got this

Following some, if not all of these steps can keep your mind sharp and ready to impress your professors. If you slacked or skated by in some classes throughout the semester, now is the time to make up for such and boost those grades. If you’ve been on top of all the coursework given to you, now is the time to fly through the finish line with flying colors.

Regardless, going into the final weeks with a positive mindset and staying prepared make a world’s difference to those finishing grades. Best of luck to all NDSU students on their finals!

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