Surviving Finals During the Holidays

Tips to help you get through the season

holiday finalsThe holiday season is my favorite time of year. With all the parties, festivities, and get-togethers, as the song says, it really is the “most wonderful time of the year.” But, for those of us that are also students, the parties, festivities, and get-togethers can get in the way of another important time of the year- final exams.

Exams are stressful enough. All the events during this time don’t make preparing and studying for exams any easier. So, how do you survive exam week and also have time to have fun during the holidays? The answer is simple: Start preparing early!

The best way to balance your exam schedule with your holiday events is to plan ahead and start preparing early. First sit down and figure out how long it will take you to prepare for each of the exams for each of your classes. As you have probably already discovered, some classes require more preparation time than others. Next sit down with a calendar and mark down holiday events like parties. Now you can look at your schedule and find available time to prepare for your exams. This method also gives you the opportunity to see the timeframe you are anticipating; therefore, you will be able to plan accordingly.

The “start preparing early” run applies for shopping too. Exams are usually over by the time holiday parties begin, but if you have 5 holiday parties to go to, that means 5 gifts you need to buy and wrap for those parties. Again, if you begin early, the shopping is manageable.

It’s also important to investigate what kind of exam you will be having for each class. For instance, in English composition students often have to turn in a final paper of a specific length. In other classes, like history and psychology, exams might be multiple-choice and possibly comprehensive. These exams usually require more preparation because you will have to re-visit information from earlier in the semester. The type of exams you’ll be having will influence the overall amount of time you’ll need to prepare for them.

Stress is common during the holiday season. As I have stated before, one of the best stress managers is your support system. One of my favorite holiday traditions is to go for some hot chocolate and coffee, rent a holiday movie with friends, and wrap presents together. My friends and I already have this planned for this year. I know this annual event helps me manage my holiday stress in a big way.

The holidays are fun! One of the great things about them is that they give you the opportunity to do things with your family and friends that you don’t have time for during the semester. Take time out of your break to spend with your family and loved ones. You are likely to feel more refreshed and ready to get to work when the spring semester rolls around.

Merry Christmas!!!!!!!!!! Happy Hanukkah!!!!!!!! Happy Kwanzaa!!!!!!!!!

About Amy Ertel

Amy Ertel earned her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Master of Education in Student Affairs Counseling from Southeastern Louisiana University. Previously, she served as a Career Counselor with the Professional Development Office at the Tulane School of Law.

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