First-Year Finals Concerns

Your eyes never need to dilate that much...

Your eyes never need to dilate that much…

A daring Thrill intern, Reed Dickerson, has graciously volunteered to list some of his looming first-year final concerns, which surely echo a lot of the worried thoughts that are swirling around in everyone’s heads currently. Some of The Thrill’s editors (who we all know stand for every voice on campus) then took the time to respond to his fears with answers that we hope will help ease some of your worries.

Question #1: Oh my god finalsarecoming, finalsarecoming, finalsarecoming!!  What do I do?!?! WHAT DO I DO!? There’s so much pressure, like 50% of my grade is riding on this last test.  What if I fail, WHAT IF I FAIL!?!

Answer from Kate Lindsay ’15: You won’t fail if you try to stop freaking out. The worst thing you can do for yourself is get yourself flustered. Take a deep breath and take this time to map out a study plan. Having this in front of you will make the time between you and finals seem a lot more organized and less like a long winding road to failure. If you make a manageable study plan and stick to it, you’re sure to be prepared.

See more questions answered after the jump.

Question #2: Okay, I can do this, I just need to sit down, and open this book and — oh hey, I wonder what’s on Facebook?  Just need to check this and — No, focus, I can do this.  I’ll just start on page three and read to page …. 227. Ugh. Great.  I wonder what that girl down the hall is doing? I should go see a — NO.  MUST NOT GET DISTRACTED.  How do I keep myself disciplined?

Answer from Olivia Grabar Sage ’15: Discipline is a funny thing, my boy. Facebook breaks (or Thrill breaks — nudge nudge, wink wink) are good for you! Good for your immune system! The trick is to limit them. Just treat yourself like a dog who gets a little cookie for everything you accomplish. Twenty-five pages = five minute Facebook break. Fifty pages = stroll around Olin to check out that girl down the hall. Also, your brain absorbs information better when you take breaks (I heard that once from another Thrill editor … take it or leave it).

Question #3: I’m on page 136 … out of 227. Fantastic.  I’ve been staring at this book for like three hours.  These words are literally swimming in front of me.  I think that picture of a duck just winked at me.  I really need a break.  Any ideas on a good study break?

Answer from David Hoyt ’14: Forget about a study break; your problem is that you’re reading wrong. Stop right there. The number one problem most overstressed college students have is reading too carefully. Unless this is a two-hour one-on-one oral exam given by the book’s author, you don’t need to know it that well. Repeat after me: Read intros and conclusions, read section headings, read first sentences of paragraphs (and last sentences if the first one is especially good), and skim for italicized words. Then, choose three to five key points and/or quotes you can incorporate into an essay.

Question #4: Oh yeah. Okay, I’m ready, I know this.  I just spent like six hours a day going over my notes and my textbook and every single reading I’ve had for the entire semester, I can do this.  I know my stuff.  Now what?

Answer from Emma Specter ’15: Anything your pretty little heart desires. Just stop studying. Stop it now. Your brain needs sleep and your mouth needs pizza. Seriously, over-preparing can make you freeze up — in my experience, once the bulk of your studying is done, it’s best to just review for half an hour each night right before bed up until the final. Spend the rest of your time studying for other things. Or parasailing, or stargazing, or painstakingly crafting miniature ships in a bottle.

Question #5: Crap.  Crap, crap, crap, shit.  I just got a D on the final.  Does this mean I fail the class!?  What happens now?!?  Do they kick me out of Kenyon?! OH GOD, WHAT DO I TELL MY PARENTS?!  THE SKY IS FALLING!!?!

Answer From Izzy Sanderson’ 15: First, take a deep and relaxing breath. One failed final does not a catastrophe make. The second thing I would do is email your professor so that you could talk to him/her about where you went wrong on this final so that you can better understand how to study in the future and you can ask what this grade does for your overall grade in the class. Chances are it doesn’t mean that you failed the class as a whole. Finally, you are not kicked out of Kenyon. So no need to panic. As for telling your parents…well, that one is entirely up to you.

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