Your Guide to Surviving Final Exam Season

Learn from a fourth-year student who is old and (sort of) wise

(Braden Klassen)

Hurray, KPU family, you’ve survived yet another semester of classes! With summer just around the corner, I bet you’re eager to finally ditch the textbooks and enjoy all that Vancouver has to offer this glorious time of year.

While the 2018 spring exam season has concluded, chances are you’re going to be attending KPU for a while. Over four years of “higher learning” I’ve taken my fair share of exams, so here’s my handy survival guide that has helped me get through final exams over the years:

Time Management

I hate to sound like your mother, but to survive finals, time management and resisting the urge to procrastinate are key. Set aside a few hours each day to surround yourself with your textbooks, laptop, healthy snacks, and a French press full of coffee so you can hit the books in comfort. For a more drastic effect, put away your smartphone and log off social media so you avoid distractions.

Sure, binging Netflix sounds like more fun, but you know what’s worse than studying for finals? Being forced to enrol in the same course twice because you failed the first time.

Me Time

Do you remember dreading the days when your parents made you take a bath as a child? As an adult, baths are freaking awesome. Go spurge on some scented candles or bubble bath and let your problems soak away while you read a book, watch a movie, or just close your eyes and relax. Welcome to Relaxationville, Canada. Population: You.

Pet Therapy

Over the semesters, KPU has hosted therapy dogs from St. John’s Ambulance for anxiety-ridden students to play with. If you’re unable to spend time with any fluffy four-legged friends of your own, tell your animal-loving amigos that you want to get together at their house. Use that as an excuse to play with their pets.

Friends and Family

You might feel the need to isolate yourself throughout the exam season, but humans are social creatures. The only thing you’ll get out of this plan is a nervous breakdown.

Arrange some time to spend with friends and loved ones. Go to your neighborhood hipster coffee joint with your bestie. Have a movie night with your family or go out for a romantic dinner with your significant other. If your exams are causing you distress, don’t shy away from talking about your problems. It can be therapeutic to talk to others about your troubles, and because they’re your friends and family, they’ll gladly listen.

Catch Some Zzz’s

It might seem like a good idea to pull an all-nighter and cram for finals, but this is literally the worst thing you can do to yourself. Your brain won’t be able to function and sleep-deprivation can have some very negative consequences. If your mind is tired, you won’t be able to think critically and recall facts during the actual exam. It might not seem like it, but those few hours of sleep will make a difference.

Navigating the Big Day

Hurrah, it’s finally exam day and you’re a mere three hours away from absolute freedom—unless you have multiple exams, and in that case, I offer my condolences. Make sure you have everything on this must-have checklist, which has saved my ass more times than I care to admit: Keys or compass card, pens, water bottle, comfy clothes, mug of coffee, protein-rich snacks, and your textbooks and notes so you can do some last-minute studying prior to entering the exam room.

And lastly, believe in yourself.

When All Else Fails

Alcohol. Welcome to adulthood, my friends.


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