-Alexis Rodgers, Contributing Writer
For the MC student body not only is it the time for holiday cheer, it’s also time for Finals. Though it may seem overwhelming, there is a way to conquer the stress accompanied with the ensuing break. Here are some quick study tips right from the people of MC for the upcoming finals and even some to help with the upcoming spring semester.
Students should realize that their teachers are there to help them. They really want nothing more than to see students succeed and for their futures to be bright. Mississippi College is so devout to this mission that they even have a whole department dedicated to it called the Office of Student Success.
Terry Dent is the director of the Office of Student Success that handles student mentors such as Blue and Gold 101. Dent and the rest of the Office of Student Success also help many different types of students with any academic alerts, counseling, and tutoring services. “With the little time that’s left, and it is shocking how little time is left, [students] seriously need to do some time management,” said Dent. “Schedule times to study . . . .Typically students would study a lot of their first exams and none for their last exams because they just run out of time. Giving the proper time, some students do that already, some students never do that, but at this stage in the game they need to start doing it. We just did Thanksgiving Break, no one wants to work anymore, but it is not wise to put it off.”
Dent explained how students can transition into studying for finals week. Number one: Schedule time, be intentional. Number two: Exam what your study habits are. There may be a routine you have that’s just not working. Number three: Always check your resources. Check the syllabus for information on the exam. If the exam is comprehensive students should know that. Some students do not realize what resources are at their disposal.
“One of the biggest resources students are reluctant to try are study groups,” said Kristi Melancon, assistant professor in the English department. “Being in a study group not only benefits you, but also everyone in your group by teaching others—learning the material in a new view and teaching others what you know to further enforce the material within yourself.”
Many students tend to avoid study groups out of fear of being distracted. “Of course many students find it hard to concentrate when you wanna have fun with your friends. Discipline does have to be maintained. Keep in mind, your friends want to pass the exams too,” said Melancon.
Many professors further encourage students that they should look over what they learned in class the day they learned it to enforce it better in their minds and also to see if there is anything they may not get. This way, they can see a tutor or the professor to clarify things early on and not get caught off guard during the exam.
For some quick study tips, students can go on mc.edu, search for the Office of Student Success, and click on “success tools.” The Office of Student Success is located on the first floor of the library right around the corner from the Writing Center.
Also, students have developed their own methods during the 2014 fall semester for which style of studying is best for them. “Reading my notes aloud really helps,” said freshman biology major, Seth Surdam. Reading notes aloud is better than just skimming them because it allows a student to hear the material out loud and make sense of it better. It’s almost like lecturing yourself.
Spending about about ten to twenty minutes a day with class notes taken that day could really improve knowledge and memory of a subject. Another way to help stay focused, especially for those musical minds, is to listen to non-lyrical music while reading notes or passages for tests. By listening to music with no lyrics, one can block out other distracting noises and keep from being tempted to sing along to the music. Pandora is great for this. Just find any classical music station, jazz station, or contemporary instrumental station, such as Yiruma or Helen Jane Long. Some students even just listen to the instrumentals of their favorite genres such as country or alternative.
Another good tip MC students offer is to change study places frequently. It’s not always the best to study in a dorm room because it may be tempting to take a nap, turn on the television, or mess with things in the room. Having a change of scenery can awaken the brain and keep it alert. Going to the library can help because it is a working environment that usually inspires students to get busy.
Another good method is the utilization of flashcards. Flashcards are great for concise information and memorization. Flashcards can be taken anywhere. They are easy to store on a ring and then can be taken out and glanced over during downtime. However, it is also important to remember to use downtime properly. “Take many breaks,” said Kylah Chatmon, freshman kinesiology major. Students can get burned out so easily, especially in the hype of Finals Week. Taking a twenty-minute break in a hour study session to grab some tea, an apple, or watch a Youtube video is a great strategy to let the brain settle with all the information that was just crammed into it.
Mississippi College’s Campus Activities Board has an event especially planned for its hardworking students called the “Cram Jam.” “Cram Jam is an event at the end of every semester. We serve breakfast food in the Caf; we put out games for everyone to just kinda relax before finals,” said Hannah Richard, a junior on the Campus Activities Board. This year’s Cram Jam will be on Thursday, Dec. 11, from 8-11pm. This is a time for students to socialize with one another over free food and destress after all the studying they have done in preparation for exams. Dance Dance Revolution, Xbox games, a coloring station, and board games are usually present as well.
Overall, students should know that Finals are not the end of the world. Don’t stress; just do your best!