Floundering Before Finals: How to Save Yourself


Students get bags of color dust as they get ready for the Holi Festival on March 22, 2018 at the Statesboro campus.

Cheryl Nuzum

It’s officially November, which means Thanksgiving is only a couple weeks away, which means Finals Week is right around the corner, which means it’s time for us all to officially get our sh*t together.
Finals Week is always the time of year everyone dreads. The three P’s (projects, paper and presentations) all manage to culminate together is four days. No matter how far in advance you see it coming, it doesn’t seem like there’s ever anything to do about it. But because finals are such a significant part of our grades, they can add one final, significant boost or at the very least, maintain that grade you’ve worked so hard for. It’s make-it-break-it time. To make the most out of your last chance, here’s a few tips and tricks:
Get organized
Find out exactly what you have going on in each class. What’s your current grade? What is the final going to be like? Do you have a project, a paper or a two-hour cumulative exam? Check your syllabus for answers or ask your professor straight-up. Which brings me to…
Go to office hours
Your professors are there to help and they have designated times to do just that: office hours. Utilize them. Find out where you stand in your class. See if your professor can spot any struggle areas you may have. Maybe the problem is you and you can’t seem to take your Folio quizzes on time or make it to class every day. That’s not an excuse, but recognizing it and admitting can earn you some brownie points with certain professors. At the very least, stopping by to see them shows initiative on your part.
Take advantage of extra credit
Often times, professors will put extra credit opportunities in the syllabus that most students overlook in the very beginning of the semester. Go back and check. There might be a seminar or a workshop left that you can attend. There might be a study or a survey you can participate in for research. Ask your professor too during office hours. There might not be anything listed or something that came up after the fact. Extra credit gives you a chance to earn some points when you have the time instead of crunching last minute during Finals Week when there’s a million other assignments to do. It can’t hurt to load up beforehand.
Get prepared
This goes along with getting organized. Find out exactly what you need to do and see if there’s anything you can do beforehand. Spend an hour getting a jumpstart on the research for that project. Start thinking about paper topics and source material. Go ahead and make Quizlets so you don’t spend all your time making them instead of studying them. Save yourself some time ahead of schedule so you don’t have to scramble last minute. At the very least, it’ll just give you some extra studying time.