Supporting Your Student as They Prepare for Finals

Believe it or not, next week is the last week of classes for the spring semester. It always feels like a surprise when the end of the semester rolls around. I’m never prepared for it, my classmates are never prepared for it, and I bet your student wasn’t prepared for it either. The thought of being done with classes and going into summer break is very exciting, but that thought is often overshadowed by the impending stress of finals week. Here are some tips on how to support your student as they finish up their classes:

  1. Remind them to take care of themselves. There is a lot of pressure for students around finals week. They feel as though they need to pull all-nighters, run on coffee, skip meals, and just neglect the basic necessities of living in order to study and prepare for exams. This is not the case. In order to do better on their finals, students need to actually take care of themselves. Ask your student what they ate today, how much sleep they got, what they are doing to take care of themselves, etc. Feeling good physically will help them feel better mentally, and they will be better equipped for finals week. 
  1. Suggest making a schedule. The most efficient way for your student to manage their time and practice effective studying is to make a study schedule. Dedicating time in their day to studying is a good way to avoid procrastination and wasting time. In addition, they should also schedule in breaks to avoid over studying and burning out. Breaks are essential to learning, so make sure to encourage them to take breaks throughout their day, eat a meal, go outside, or just do something to clear their mind and relieve stress.
  1. Encourage them to research study tips. Something that so many students are guilty of, myself included, is never learning healthy study habits that will lead to long-term success. Students often will study for hours on end rereading textbooks and quizzing themselves on information that is not going to be relevant to their exam. It can also be hard for students to accept that the study habits they have now just don’t work for them. Encourage your student to do some research and find different study tips online that will help them be successful and retain the information, not just memorize it.
  1. Remind them of their resources on campus! FSU’s campus has a multitude of academic resources for your student to take advantage of during finals week. The ACE center, the Reading & Writing Center, various libraries and study rooms, office hours, and so much more is just a quick walk away. Students often feel like preparing for finals is something that is done all on their own, but that’s not true. These resources are there to help them. Remind them that they aren’t alone, and that if they are struggling to grasp the information or simply just need another set of eyes to look over their paper, campus resources are here to help. 
  1. Send them a gift or a note of encouragement. Most importantly during this stressful time, your student just wants to feel your love and support. Send them something that will make them smile, like a gift basket, their favorite snack, something from home, a Squishmallow, whatever it may be that will cheer them up. A simple letter of encouragement telling them that they got this is all that it takes as well. Remind them that you are always there for them no matter what happens and that a single test grade does not measure their success as a person. 

It’s important to remind your student of the success that they have had year-round and that this one week of stress does not diminish their hard work. Whether it’s their first year or their last, finals week will always be stressful; tell your student that they are almost at the finish line and that you are proud of them! 

Written by Rylee Mehr

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