As the semester comes to an end, it is very easy to feel stressed about final projects and exams. I know that I usually start to feel the pressure a couple of weeks before finals but it is honestly manageable if you have been doing your work throughout the semester and give yourself enough time to study and get things done. For the most part, it really comes down to preparing from the beginning because it’s a lot easier to understand and apply the material you learned in class if you have been practicing for a couple of months rather than waiting until the last minute. 

The good news is that not every class follows the same format for finals; some classes consist of a final project like an art piece or other creative work, some have final essays or presentations, and others have final cumulative exams. It just depends on what classes you are taking and what makes more sense to showcase everything you’ve learned. I find this helpful because I can plan out my own personal finals schedule once I know what type of final I will be doing for each class. For example, this past fall semester I had one written essay, one video essay, one cumulative exam, a presentation, and two short reflections for my finals. Because I knew this very early on, I planned out what days I intended to work on essays and when to study. I always tell students that familiarizing oneself with the class syllabus is extremely helpful because it will tell you what type of final you will be completing, how much it is worth, if there is an option to drop it, and when you should expect to turn it in. This information might change depending on the professor of the class but for the most part, this is what I’ve seen for my classes.

Although I do tend to plan out my finals schedule early on, there are definitely changes as I go. Changes can happen because I realize I will need more time to complete something, because I don’t feel confident in how much I know about a particular material so I want to dedicate more time to it, or because I have been doing particularly well in a class and don’t have to dedicate as much time towards that final. Regardless of my planning, finals are always a lot of work. I never had as much time for friends and family when completing finals because I was always striving for straight As. However, I’ve learned over the past couple of years that it’s okay to not stress myself out to the extent that I used to over finals. It’s always good to put in the effort and do well but it’s also not necessary to lose all your sleep or skip meals over finals. Remember that putting in your best effort is always valid and it’s okay to not be perfect. Finals is going to be hard no matter what type of student you are because it is essentially an accumulation of all the things you’ve learned during the semester and they are usually worth a lot of points but as long as you put in your best effort and give yourself time to feel ready and prepare, you will be okay. Also remember that it’s always okay to ask for help if you ever need it. 

Best of luck with all your future finals!!!