'Twas the week before finals and all through the Greens, Bobcats flock to the library and study by any means. As sleep schedules and caffeine addictions become slightly severe, there are still hopes that an A will soon appear.
It's that time of the year again, and Fall Semester finals are right around the corner. Students will likely feel pressure and nerves over the next two weeks, regardless of their major or year. Whether it is a final project, an online paper or a good old-fashioned in-person exam, it is time to crack open the books, head over to Front Room Coffee House and let the study sessions commence.
On top of final exams, students all over campus are involved in student organizations, Sorority and Fraternity Life, sports, jobs and hobbies. This can be time-consuming and limit potential study or work time.
However, being a part of something outside of classes can be extremely beneficial for time and stress management skills. Additionally, having healthy outlets to help with stress like working out, journaling or creating art or music, can boost moods and help in implementing a routine or schedule, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Avery Ochs, a sophomore studying journalism, prepares for finals despite her involvement in many organizations.
"I'm a part of WOUB, I work for their social team, I'm also a part of PRSSA and 1804 Communication," she said. "I love to play the piano (and) I'm part of a sorority too."
Despite her vast involvement across campus, Ochs is still finding ways to get ready as finals week approaches.
"I'll keep a list, and then I'll do like an hour per project, especially when I have to do a lot of projects," she said. "Like this semester, all my finals are projects."
The type of exams or number of exams can also affect stress levels pertaining to students. Some classes will give a final project as opposed to a test and vice versa. Working on projects or beginning to study for exams early in advance can be very helpful as opposed to waiting until the night before. Procrastination is a student's worst enemy. However, even setting aside 15 to 30 minutes a day to review material or finish a project can help space it out enough to where there is less stress associated with it.
Changing study habits to more effective ones can also be beneficial. Students can utilize methods like flashcards, active recall and mind mapping to name a few—no more highlighting sentence after sentence and rereading notes for the thousandth time. Getting a good night's rest and eating healthy can also overall improve your well-being and help anyone to feel prepared and confident in their work and skills.
Marcus Pettiford, a senior studying mechanical engineering, put an emphasis on taking breaks and practicing self-care.
"There's times when you definitely keep working and you know time passes, and you don't even realize you haven't eaten all day," he said. "Definitely keep your fuel up."
Upperclassmen like Pettiford have been through it all before and have many tips and advice for underclassmen struggling with stress and time management.
"Get an early start on what you need to review and frequently ask for feedback," said Pettiford. "Ask for feedback on every wrong thing you've done up to that point of the exam."
OU provides many resources to help students feel relaxed and ready to ace all their finals. Alden Library will provide resources and events all of finals week, including therapy dogs on Thursday, Dec. 1, and Monday, Dec. 5, and "finals survival kits" while supplies last.
Alden will always provide students with tutors and peer mentors for almost every class imaginable in order to really master class materials before the big bad final. Charles J. Ping Recreation Center provides group workout classes, such as cycling and yoga, to help students destress and get in some daily movement.
Talking with friends and socializing can ease stress about exams because it can help students feel they are not alone in the overwhelming nerves. Having an uplifting support group can be one of the best ways to destress during finals.
Maia Young, a freshman studying biology, shared her feelings and emotions about her upcoming four in-person exams.
"I definitely need to study more, but I'm not too stressed about them (exams) right now," she said.
Young had taken college credit before coming to OU like many freshmen this year, so she believes it helped her immensely in preparing for what exams are like in college.
"I definitely know what to expect," she said.
Although students all over campus might be feeling stressed or overwhelmed with the thought of finals looming over their heads, students also know what steps to take when that stress gets to them and have all kinds of strategies and discipline for taking on finals head first. With the end of the semester close in sight, good luck on finals to all, and to all a good night.