As the song goes “It’s the most wonderful time of the year”. Yet for many if not most college students this is also one of the most stressful times of the year. Along with the lights, smells, and sounds of the holidays, students are dealing with registration for spring classes, making plans for the long winter break getting of course preparing for and taking finals. For first year students these are the first finals in college and the pressure to do well is palatable. The Academic Achievement Center gave some great advice on how to prepare finals in their latest article “Attack Finals Like a Towson Tiger” and by now, you are in full attack mode. Now we would like to take you through finals and give you some thoughts on what to do after.
- Know you are ready and that you’ve done everything you can to prepare for the exam or paper. At the same time, be prepared for the unknown. Assuming you will ace the final should not be a forgone conclusion. Visualize your success before the exam. A positive attitude will have an impact on your ability to focus and achieve better results.
- Breathe! Make sure you are aware of your body. If you feel yourself tensing up, shoulders tightening, teeth clenching, take a minute to take a breath and reset. Letting go of what you cannot control will allow you to focus on what you do know.
- Stay until the end of the exam. After you are finished and if you have time, take another breath and check your work. Go over your calculations, your grammar, and your content. Small changes can make a difference in the final grade.
You made it! Now it’s time to de-stress and relax. You’ve earned it. Take a good amount of time to just let it all go. Maybe you have plans to be with family, or friends, or to take a vacation or, in the words of Jeremy Grey from “Wedding Crashers”, “I like to recharge my batteries, and shut down the engines, and get myself back to neutral.” Whatever it is, it’s just as important as was your preparation for the end of the semester.
Once you have reset your system, plan to take a small amount of time at some point during break to think about the spring and the rest of your academic career. Do you feel like you have a plan? Do you feel well prepared? Are you satisfied with where you are in your path? Did you achieve all that you wanted to during the previous semester? Keep in mind that your campus resources are still here during break and are still available to work with you. Now is a perfect time to get with the Career Center to think about internships, working with mentors or looking for job opportunities. The Counseling Center can still offer you support and can help you address personal concerns or struggles. The Academic Achievement Center can work with you now to set you up with tutors for your classes in the Spring. And the Academic Advising Center is open to help you make sure you are on the track you need to be, or help you with any questions you have in regards to the classes you are enrolled in. In short, even though you are on break, we are still here for you.
Finally, understand that you have accomplished great things this semester and now is the time to reflect on your work. Whether it’s clubs, sports, Greek life, internships, academics or simply getting through your first semester, take pride in where you are and how far you’ve come.
From all of us at the Thriving Tiger, we are proud of you and can’t wait to see you in the spring. Have fun, de-stress and be safe.
Undergraduate Academic Advising Center