An English teacher’s guide to studying for finals

ADVICE FROM THE PROS. Stressing for finals is hard on everyone, and getting advice is not always the easiest. Mrs. Vargas, in regards to how to calm down before finals, believes that negative self-talk can greatly change your attitude. “Get rid of negative self-talk and influences. If you want to fly with the eagles, you’ve got to stop playing with the pigeons.” She then told me about how loving yourself and investing yourself in big-picture goals can help you relax before finals.

Article and photo by Ashton Seghezzi

Stressed about finals? Struggling to stay organized? Can’t keep up with all your work? Sitting down to study is not the easiest thing; there are distractions that occur along with a lack of motivation to study. In this article are ways to help you improve study habits and to help manage your stress and anxiety as finals come up.

English teacher Michelle Vargas offered some of her studying habits. “Be your own boss and friend by creating your own at home structure and routine.” She went on to explain how she does this and mentioned a comfortable work environment. When students sit down to study it can be difficult to work at an empty desk or even the comfort of your own bed. She also went into depth about creating a routine for students to follow when they get home. She said, “Home, snack, nap, tea or coffee or bang! Get to business for an hour reviewing your Google Classroom assignments and doing ONE a day.” Be careful to not overwork yourself and keep it to a happy medium so that you’re still learning but not overworking yourself. 

If you are feeling stressed or frustrated by studying, it’s always best to give yourself a time slot to take a break. Vargas let me in on some of her relaxation methods, saying, “Take a walk if you feel stuck, frustrated or braindead. Go outside and take the dog, or yourself, for a walk around the neighborhood. Get a sensory bath. Smell everything. Look at nature, things like trees, flowers and puddles. Crunch leaves under your foot or stomp on a puddle like when you were a little kid. Nature is healing. We are not robots or machines. We are humans; we need sensory stimulation.” Doing activities like these can refresh our minds and help us refocus. 

Having trouble staying organized and juggling all of your classes? Try asking your parents for a notebook, or if you remember things better digitally, try using your notes app or start setting reminders in your calendar. Try writing the assignment down along with the due date. If you procrastinate a ton, maybe you can set up something to remind you every day until it’s due! Things like whiteboards and alarms seem to help students visualize their work load and plan accordingly.

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