Study tips to prepare for finals

As the semester winds down, the mounting stress looms in. Students are now in the second semester of virtual learning and finals are fast approaching. They find themselves isolated from the world and struggling to find a workable solution for a proper learning environment. Sadly, many are dealing with this right now, across all grade levels. The key thing to remember is that no one is alone in this situation. 

Everyone is in an unprecedented time as the year winds down. Normally, students work in study groups or cram in the library to study. To conquer virtual learning stress, here are a few solutions to stay on track while studying at home.

Dedicated Space

While it may be hard to find space at home, it is important to have a dedicated area that is solely meant for schooling. Whether it be the kitchen table or a specific corner in your room, it is necessary to separate your school area from your relaxation area to keep your focus sharp. 

This made a difference for California State University, Monterey Bay alumni Jessica Jeronimo who is currently working on obtaining her master’s. “It was really hard for me since I live with my parents,” Jeronimo said. 

She added that the only place she has in her house is her room which she has now transformed into a workplace – adding a desk dedicated for not only her schooling but work as well. 

Headphones/Relaxing Music 

Jeronimo also brought up the use of headphones. “I am not a student who can work while listening to music.” She added that they are not ideal, but being at home you may not have control of the noise levels in your household. 

Putting on some headphones may be able to cancel out certain distractions. Youtube can be very helpful if you type in “study music,” or “ambient,” there are many videos that can create a more warm and tranquil space. 

Additionally, music can spark creative memorization and focusing techniques: listening to white noise sounds such as classical music or coffee shop jazz and rain can drastically change the productivity of study lessons. Eliminating the need to pay attention to vocal lyrics and zone out to a relaxing and soothing instrumental sound helps increase awareness of detail and information. 

Eating and sleeping well

It is important to be well rested and eating enough to keep oneself concentrated. Also, always remember to eat a full breakfast to start off the day right. Coffee can help keep one more alert and focused, however too much can give them the jitters! If an individual is not a caffeine fan, peppermint tea can be a very calming and soothing alternative. 


Trying to stay on top of all assignments can be really tricky when students have multiple platforms to work off of like iLearn or Canvas. It is key to either make a checklist or utilize a planner to keep track of classes. That way, one is not flipping through multiple sites figuring out what they need to be studying. In addition, take the time to go through all the class modules. It can be easy for certain assignments or power points to slip through the cracks.

Self Care

It is very important to remember that we are human and students are working through one of the most stressful and confusing times in history. With that being said, it cannot be forgotten to take care of oneself by engaging in me time and enjoyable activities outside of schoolwork. 

Sitting for long periods of time at a computer is not beneficial to learning, so remember to take breaks. Whether it be going for a walk, watching a show, eating a snack or even just laying down to take a break from technology. It is a must to have that break so a student is not in ‘school mode’ all day! 

Including Nature:

Taking a break from the indoors can prove tremendously helpful in reducing stress and helping restart the vital necessities of healthy brain function and constructive work. Stepping away from the electronics and logging off every now and then should be implemented into daily routines. 

Besides recognizing and appreciating the natural beauty of the outdoors, incorporating fresh air and scenic views can boost endorphins and engage a different perspective. 

Approaching a subject after having a stubborn moment of writer’s block and spending time outside allows for freshly inspired, de-stressed eyes to overlook any grammatical or editing errors and properly correct them. As the saying goes, make sure to ‘stop and smell the flowers.’

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