(opinion) Work-Life Balance

Newman Library, June 19, 2018.

As the fall 2019 semester is coming to a close, for many, one big task remains: ace those final exams. Whether it be your Visual Media class or your Chem Lab, odds are you’ve got a final or two (or more) on your plate before you disappear for winter break. For some, these finals will make or break their respective grades in various classes. For some, their finals are are just a bit extra to do before they pack up and head home. Regardless, they’re important and should be taken seriously as they will definitely impact you one way or another. It begs the question, though, how should one go about preparing for their finals?

When it comes to studying around campus, there is a variety of nice locations to whip out your laptop and slide into study mode. Newman Library, the campus’s premier location for academic grinds of all kinds, is generally the go-to spot every time finals roll around. With multiple floors offering a variety of study options, from very quiet to quite load, whatever suits your study needs, odds are Newman’s got a floor to accommodate. Need to draw out diagrams for your biology class? Looking to write out endless equations for your business calculus final study time? Newman has a number of white boards and surfaces to write on so that you and/or group mates can study and practice effectively. 

“I like finals season because it brings the best qualities out in all college students,” said Tyler Steinruck, a sophomore studying mathematics “Everybody buckles down to do the best job that they can on their exams. Each person has their own way of studying and places that they like to study. Personally, I like studying in the Johnson Student Center with one or two other classmates.”

Looking to stay on top of your studying, but lacking the motivation to do it alone? Take a look into setting up group study sessions with friends. It may help you from distracting yourself if you have peers around you to help keep you focused and motivated on your work. Additionally, there’s the benefit of peer-to-peer review, where one can quiz the with topics on the final. If studying with a group of friends is not the best thing for you,perhaps looking into review sessions taught by an instructor could help. The Virginia Tech website offers a variety of info on events and activities available during finals season to help guide you toward the success you want (and maybe even need). 

With all that energy exerted from studying so hard, one must take the time to find ways to keep balance and composure in their life during these stressful times. Virginia Tech also offers a number of ways to help keep students calm and collected during finals season on its website; it’s all a matter of taking advantage of the resources and opportunities available. From Cheesy Nights — times at the library where there’s free grilled cheese sandwiches available — to Sketch and Stretch activities where students take some leisure time away from their textbooks and relax while drawing in a sketchbook. 

An overlooked option for success with finals is to simply take the time and meet with your professor to discuss an appropriate plan for prepping for that particular class’s final. Meeting with your instructor during office hours is a great way to talk to them, typically one-on-one, about what may be covered in the final. They might recommend study materials and tips that you might otherwise overlook, while helping put you on the right path to approach whatever exam they have ahead for you. If you aren’t able to make it to office hours, perhaps reexamining the course syllabus and course objectives might get you similar help. Identifying what’s expected of you to take away from the course will likely correlate with what’s expected of you to know on your finals. 

With all of the resources available to you this finals season, make sure to take full advantage of the amenities around. Assure yourself that you’re more than prepared to ace any and all finals that come your way by getting yourself relaxed and mentally prepped for what’s coming your way. Before you know it, you’ll be back home (or wherever you’re heading to after break), ready to take on the much needed sleep of winter break.

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