Preparing for Finals Week

Dean Barker, Sports Editor

Williamsburg, Va. – As we get closer to finals week and to the end of the 2020-21 school year, many of us may be scrambling to get ready. Whether it is that assignment that is due, that presentation you need to rehearse, or an exam you need to study for — it can be very hectic. 

Since I have been scrambling for the last four years, I figured I would use this editorial to help you get ready. 

First and foremost, do not wait until the last minute to start whatever you need to do. Even if you only work on something for 15 minutes a day for the next two weeks, you will still be in a much better position than needing to work for 10 hours straight. 

Do not expect to suddenly get enough willpower to complete everything in a short amount of time — your brain does not work that way. Championship teams do not wait until the day before the game to practice extremely hard; they practice over a long period of time.

Second, if you get something done earlier than the due date, there are two options: turn it in and be done with it, or have someone look it over and make edits. While the Writing Center tutor in me wants to urge the second option, this is actually not always the best choice.

 For assignments that will not really affect your grade, such as those in less important classes, those easier assignments, etc., I recommend not being too scrupulous. Turn them in and work on your more pressing assignments, unless you do not have any. For those assignments that do matter, you want to use the full time to make them as good as possible. 

Third, keep in contact with your professors. Go to office hours or to study sessions if your professors provide them. Professors are able to tell when a student is really making an effort in a class, even if the grade is not very high. I have never failed a class when I follow these tips, even if I was not an expert on the subject.

Fourth, take breaks — not vacations. Preparing for finals can be very stressful, and you will need to take adequate breaks. Save these for the afternoon or evening; that way, you will have already done a solid amount of work and there will not be much time to waste. 

If you take a break in the middle of the day, you may lose focus and you may waste a large amount of time. Studies have shown that we do not remember things from the evening as well as during the day, so make sure you get your studying done when you are more likely to remember it. 

When it is time for that well-earned break, I recommend doing a fun activity or spending time with friends. It might be a little harder this year, but find something you enjoy and have at it.

Fifth, and arguably the most important, make sure your body is taken care of. As former BC strength coach Brandon Beach once said, “Would any of you get in the car to drive for nine hours and not stop for gas? Of course not, so why would you do that to your body?” 

Make sure you are getting enough rest, or it will be very hard to succeed. Get at least eight hours, whether it is from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m., or 12 a.m. to 8 a.m., but preferably closer to the first. 

Eat healthy meals and as much as you reasonably can, exercise. It will increase your feeling of productivity, which will help you to confidently approach your schoolwork.

These are the five tips that I have used to help get through finals week over the last three years, and what I will use for my upcoming fourth and final one. I hope these will help you as well. 

Since this will be my final editorial, I would like to say it has been my pleasure being the sports editor for BCVoice this year and sharing Eagles news with the BC community. While this was indeed a hectic year, I am glad we had sports to help us get through it.