As I’m typing this, I’ve been home for about three days.  My finals started the first day (last friday) and I had three in a row to end on Sunday.  All my friends said I was lucky; they were all quite jealous.  At the time, it seemed like the worst thing in the world though.  Never had I been so afraid to fail a class before; never had I lacked so much confidence for a math exam before; never had I not known what to study in order to succeed.  It was scary.

However, now that I’m finally past that experience I can offer some pieces of sound advice.  The first piece of cliche advice I can give is to keep up on things.  I kept up with the homework and problem sets and turned them all in; this however did not necessarily imply that I kept up with the content.  By the time finals came around, I realized I barely understood (to a testable degree) anything we had learned thus far in some of my classes.  Everything I learned from doing the problem sets, I threw away after I finished them; take the extra time to read and reinforce that learning…it’ll make studying for finals magnitudes simpler.  That piece of advice is probably one many of my peers would offer as well.

Next thing, which is somewhat joking but also quite serious and is totally self-explanatory:  do not start a new anything the week leading up to finals.  Now some might disagree with me on this…and those some must have outstanding self-control but for the rest of us who are weak-willed, nothing kills productiveness like getting hooked on “The Walking Dead” or some hit series.  I’ll admit though, binging a television series is a great way to take off the stress if you’re able to regain your focus after such a decision.

Last thing, have a group of people who can commit to studying with you.  Some of us like to study alone, myself included; however, in more challenging college courses, it is indispensable to have another living, breathing study partner.  While it’s best if one of you knows what they’re doing, it’s totally fine if the group of you struggle together to grasp the challenging topics presented.  See if you can easily explain and teach someone else the concepts you’re being tested on; that’s how you’ll know that you’re proficient in the content being taught.

I hope you’re all enjoying your breaks and looking forward to this new transition; I know I’m bracing myself for the awaited second semester.  This summer, I’m looking to find an internship to become a better programmer…and my first interview is in one minute.  If you’ll all excuse me and enjoy your breaks,  Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays everyone!