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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    How to survive: Finals

    Mark Flores
    Freshman Wildcats Michael Lasswell and Joe Kimbuende preparing for Finals Week by studying class notes and reading textbooks. Both freshman were studying in the University of Arizona’s Main Library on Thursday afternoon. Michael Lasswell is in the NIKE Shirt

    Finals can be a trying time for even the most well rounded and devoted student. And quite frankly, how many of us fall into that category?

    Sure, your primary goal might be getting the grade, keeping the scholarship, making sure mom and dad are happy, but when it comes down to it, merely surviving finals with your sanity still intact is the most important goal.

    Sanity. First off, your sanity is the most important asset during finals week. You might think it’s the last-minute cramming at the library that will save your grade, but when it comes down to it, if you’re a walking zombie the day you head into class, you’re done. It doesn’t matter if you know the cause of the French Revolution if you can’t keep your eyes open during class.

    Sleep. Sleep is your friend, not your enemy, and that can’t be overstated. If you’re feeling heroic after pulling an all-nighter, surrounded by 10 empty Red Bull cans, you’re setting yourself up for failure. Sleep is the oft-overlooked bridge between sanity and despair.

    Relaxation. Students tend to overreact when finals come around. Remember, it’s just another week of your life. You’ll get through it, regardless of the grades you end up with. With that in mind, take some pressure off yourself. Go for a walk, even if it’s just around your room (but not for too long, or your roommates might call your parents for help). Make an existential playlist of songs that shake your very core and keep you on your toes. None of those love songs or beach songs, either. That will come later when you’re relaxing in a hammock on a summer afternoon.

    “Finals is that time when one needs clear motivation to prevent them from becoming a raging alcoholic,” said Patrick O’Connor, a pre-phyisology sophomore, as he raced between classes the week before the start of his finals. “I personally try to find that zen-like state of grace that can only come after two cups of coffee.”

    Consumption. Whereas during the year, alcohol and perhaps the occasional party elixir might be your friend, now they are your enemy. Put down that cheap bottle of tequila and your red Solo cup of Safeway beer. Don’t worry, those trusty friends will be waiting for you once you’re done, with an entire summer to get better acquainted with Jack Daniels and Captain Morgan. But now isn’t the time.

    “I enter my study cave with my noise canceling earphones and just filter out all distractions,” O’Connor said. “It just feels right be in the zone and get work done.”

    Time management. Ruby Abrams, an engineering freshman, admitted that sanity just isn’t in the cards for him during finals week.
    “How do I stay sane? I don’t. I do my best to ensure that I get an A in my class at the very last minute,” Abrams said. “I immediately focus on managing my time.”

    Managing your time, which might seem like a nuisance through the rest of the year, becomes a crucial factor once professors start handing out those pesky study guides. It doesn’t necessarily mean bailing on an upcoming party, but rather being able to say enough is “enough” at 10 p.m. instead of 3 a.m. It means switching out that rum and Coke for just the Coke. Again, the Captain isn’t going anywhere — he’s waiting for you to set sail with him as soon as you submit that last final a minute before it is due.

    Perspective. But it’s important to remember, despite all the chaos and endless hours spent staring at a book or your computer screen, it will be over soon. Finals week is a finite period of time.

    “Why do I do this? Not really sure. But what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, no?” Abrams said.


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