How I deal with finals week!
I have been at college for two terms now – meaning six months, more or less. Although it has been such a short time, I already feel like I have found my own routine and strategies to navigate the class schedule and all our assignments. For example, during end of winter term, I found myself in the same situation as in the Fall term: stressed for finals week.
Because at Dartmouth we use the quarter system – four terms of three months a year, from which students are expected to spend three in class – we end up having a finals week every three months. It can seem stressful at first, but after you get the hang of it, you will be grateful for this oddly good academic calendar.
I remember being genuinely scared of the idea of being tested on all the content we had covered in class for the past nine weeks. It seemed impossible for me to study all that because, since our terms are shorter, a whole lot of content has to be covered in a smaller amount of time. After making it through Fall term's finals week, I realized this assessment style was not only feasible, but also very good for my learning.
As I found out last term, something that really helps me study for finals is surrounding myself with friends. I know this does not work for everyone, but, for me, group study sessions are the best ones. As Winter term finals week came by, I employed this same strategy.
I find myself really lucky to have so many friends who take the same courses as I do, because it makes it much easier to study together. Doing work together is the best study strategy for me, honestly.
As I wrap up this term, it also felt slightly different from Fall term due to my course choices. Now, I had to write two final essays and only one actual exam. Last term, because I took less writing-centered classes, I ended up having much more to study and remember for tests.
At Dartmouth, as you learn to navigate the quarter system and, overall, the academic calendar, things start to make sense. You will find your own pace to study and create your own routine and strategies. Although academics are indeed hard, remember that it is also both worthy and doable!