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  • Madeline Osigian

Freshmen, Here's How Upperclassmen Prepare for Finals

So it’s your first semester on campus, and you’ve just come back from Thanksgiving Break for two or three more weeks of school. You’re rested and lazy, with turkey and dressing still dancing on your tastebuds, and Christmas carols are playing on every set of AirPods.

But now it’s a weekday, and you’re back in the fast-paced environment of your classes and homework…

Welcome to this time called finals!

Maybe you’ve had an older sibling tell you horror stories about pulling three all-nighters in a row, or maybe you’re not scared because you’re thinking this is just Midterms: Part II.

Whatever your thoughts on finals, I have comfort for you! You will make it through these papers and tests with these three tips:

1. Sleep! I’ve made it through all four semesters of finals without pulling an all-nighter. You don’t need to take that older sibling’s story and make it your own. Hear me now: There is no assignment worth losing an entire night of sleep over. Your body desperately needs sleep to consolidate and store memories. Trust me; I’m in physiological psychology. Just sleep every night.

2. Utilize Dead Day. The wonderful thing is that between your regular class days and the start of finals is Dead Day (Thursday, Dec. 12 is this year’s). It’s a day dedicated to taking a breather and then beginning your studying for your first tests. I personally adore Dead Day as a chance to gear up for the approaching five days of tests. Use it well by balancing rest and productivity, but don’t go too far from your books or campus, even when friends pressure you to.

3. Write out your finals week schedule. First, write down the timeframes of all of your final exams. Then write out what times you plan to study for each. Then stick to it, even when you’re tempted to drive 30 minutes to Whataburger instead. Take this time to find the best balance of rest and work for you personally!


You will not only survive finals but thrive through them, especially if you listen to the wisdom of our MC Writing Center tutors.

“I prepare for finals by making Quizlets to share with my friends and by staying on top of all of my projects, so they don’t overwhelm me.”

~Samantha Taylor

“How do I manage the stress? This semester it’s been a lot of planning breaks between study sessions but also finding things that aren’t studying and, for me, going to the gym for an hour or a five-minute run. Do things that relieve stress or just find something fun to do.”

~Savannah Martin

“Self care! Take care of yourself. Sleep. Eat. Pray. Love yourself while you’re studying.”

~Casey Kellogg

“It’s important to get enough sleep. You do not realize how much getting enough sleep affects everything. It affects your health and how well you can remember things. It’s really, really important, a lot more than people realize. Even though it’s so tempting to pull all-nighters to study for something, you really need that sleep.”

~Christine Anderson

This semester is coming to a close, but our tutors in the writing center have plenty of studying tips and writing tips to help you not only survive but thrive through all of the craziness of finals.

The bottom line? You don’t have to worry about finals, even if everyone around you starts to panic. Come see us in the writing center by scheduling an appointment today:

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