Taking Finals Season in Stride Nathan Lee offers methods to stay calm and collected as the semester draws to a close.

The end is drawing near. No, I am not talking about the “end times” that people have been anticipating as a result of the pandemic and divided American state. I am talking about the end of another wonderful Boston College semester! Many people go into finals week with the expectation that it will be plagued with cups of cold coffee and endless nights, but I am here to reassure you that it is not that bad. Whether this is your first or last semester at BC, here are some helpful tips that will allow you to finish strong. 

Do not procrastinate, plan your time.

Do I sound like your mom yet? This is an obvious solution to many of the problems that students face, and it is also the key to success during the final stretch of the semester. Especially with many classes being held online, you will have more than enough time to equally divide your class work across multiple days. Mapping out your schedule in advance for final projects, papers, and exams is especially helpful. Once you figure that out, you can prepare a simple study schedule dividing your time. Going into these last couple weeks with a plan is what will ensure success. Failing to prepare will prepare you to fail. 

Talk to your professors.

If you somehow managed to avoid your professors throughout the entire semester, there is no time like the present to begin communicating with them. While it may be slightly more awkward to start reaching out now, the benefits will outweigh the discomfort. Based upon the outline you made, figure out how your schedule. If certain deadlines or assignment due dates seem difficult to manage, talk to your professors. Professors at BC are very accommodating and want you to succeed, but you need to do your part. It is important to be proactive and take the necessary steps if you want to be successful.

Work hard, then play hard.

Holiday season is definitely a time that can stir up some lazy habits. With Christmas lights twinkling, temperatures dropping, and snow falling, all you may want to do is cuddle up in your warm bed. Well, if you want to end the semester strong, you’re going to have to set aside those temptations and really focus. If there is an environment that causes you to want to be lazy, then step out and find an area where you can be productive, like the library or the study rooms in your dorm. Most importantly, reward yourself after a productive day of work, whether by treating yourself to a take-out dinner and a movie or just making plans with a friend.

Finals week at BC flies by, and the stress will blow over. One day you may feel overwhelmed with four finals, but the next you will be completely relieved to have finished with all of them. That being said, because finals week passes so quickly, it’s important that you are mentally prepared to handle its pace. I am not endorsing endless studying and preparation. What I am encouraging is that you get the work out of the way first, so that you can really enjoy some rest after you finish off the semester. Though it may seem obvious, a lot of my friends get stuck in this mode of trying to balance their social life and work life during this time. While breaks are needed, I recommend mostly setting your social life aside for two weeks and just focusing—this is what will truly allow you to finish strong. 

Finally, reflect. 

Reflect on your experiences from this semester. Think about what you could have done better and what you did well. One thing I regret from this semester is that I was always trying to go, go, go. I never took the time to really sit back and think about ways that the experiences I was having shaped my character as a student and as a person. During these “end times,” I encourage you to really reflect on how this semester was for you. Not only will this mentally prepare you for next semester, but it will also get you in the proper headspace to be able to fully enjoy everything that BC has to offer. Don’t just nitpick all the things BC has failed to do for you. Think about what you are grateful for and set your new expectations for the next semester. 

Graphic by Meegan Minahan / Heights Editor

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