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Fun Winters or Finals Hinders?

Some quick tips for balancing the holidays and finals.

Time Until Finals Begin.
COUNTDOWN OVER: Finals Have Begun!

Ready or not, here they come! The holidays are upon us.

It’s time to start shopping, cooking and spending time with friends and family. But, it’s also time to start filling out study guides, making flashcards and scheduling study groups, because along with the holidays come final exams. 

Finals shouldn’t stop the holiday fun, but sometimes it’s uncontrollable. Students can get caught up with an overwhelming amount of work to do. There are ways to balance the holidays and finals.

Here are some tips to ensure you ace your finals, while still being able to take in all the fun memories that come with the holidays.       

 

Katie Buchanan ‘26 studies during lunch for her last quiz before finals Dec.14. The week before finals is the last chance students get to finalize their grades before taking the final exams. “I’m trying to get my grades as high as possible before my final to take some stress off of it,” Buchanan said. (media by Rosie Benson)

Make a plan

Most students have six to seven different finals to be taken the week of Dec. 18-21.

One way to study for all of these tests is to have a solid plan.

Dedicating a certain amount of time to each subject can ensure that you get the most out of studying.

Trying to multitask and study for each final back and forth might not work or help you attain the most information you can. 

 

Relieve some stress with fun activities

While you should be studying for finals, it’s impossible to study all day every day. When too much stress builds up, it can lead to breakdowns and can severely affect your performance on finals.

To relieve this stress, try doing some fun holiday activities. There are so many fun things to do throughout Novemeber and December, such as seeing lights, decorating gingerbread houses and cookies and watching a fun movie. Be sure to keep up with your hobbies.

“I relieve stress by playing the piano, singing, dancing or listening to music for five to 10 minutes in between study sessions,” Nandini Murali ‘25 said.  

 

Find a nice cozy place to study

Studying at a nice, relaxing place can help limit distractions. Some examples include at the library, near the warm lights of your holiday lights or at a cozy cafe. As a bonus, you could get a delicious holiday drink to sip as you do your work.

“I’m going to Starbucks to study for some of my finals because I think it will help me to focus better,” Hannah Allen ‘26 said. 

 

Organize

Having all notes and assignments for each class in the same place can very positively affect your studying.

Organizing can also mean letting go. For example, that one assignment that was just busy work from September might not be the most helpful for studying for your final. Utilize your important notes and separate them so you can study each unit to the fullest. 

To stay organized, try utilizing a planner, to-do lists and organizers.

 

The Mile High Tree at the Christkindlmarket shines rainbow colors in Civic Center Park Dec. 8. The Mile High Tree stands at 110 feet and is the largest tree in Colorado. (media by Rosie Benson)

Incorporate some fun into your studying

Who says studying just has to be looking over boring notes? There are so many other ways to study.

For example, there are ways to make studying into a game, like Jeopardy, and compete against fellow students.

Maybe someone can make a quiz, and for each question you get right, you get a candy cane. This will help motivate you to study while still having fun. 

 

Get all of your holiday shopping done before finals

The last thing people want to do on Dec. 21, when they’ve finished their finals, is to have to worry about the presents they still need to buy.

To relax and take advantage of the little time students have between finals and holidays, it’s best to get all the shopping out of the way. Plus, malls are a nightmare the few days before Christmas. It’s best not to have that on your plate. 

 

Take it day by day

In terms of studying for finals, it’s best to not get overwhelmed. By making a plan on the what and when for studying, you can focus on a couple of things per day.

Prioritizing what you choose to study on what day will help organize and manage your time better. 

 

Don’t procrastinate 

Procrastinating tasks, such as procrastinating both studying and shopping, is extremely counterproductive.

Trying to get shopping, activities and studying done at the last minute will not help you. Practice time management to get it all done in time. 

 

Create study groups

Study groups are a great way to get things done. As long as you stay focused, you can collaborate as a group.

“Working with other people in the same class really helps me to study better because we can help each other when we don’t know something,” Mallori Spielmann ‘26 said. 

 

Finals don’t have to overtake holiday fun, the two can be balanced. Finding the techniques that work for you personally is the key to getting the most out of both of them.

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