If you’re reading this, chances are it’s almost time for the end of the quarter, and all the hard work you’ve put into your courses is culminating in final exams, written assignments, and special projects or presentations. Here’s some advice for that end-of-quarter push. You ZOT this!
Your end-of-quarter checklist for success:
Be proactive about your wellness:
- Pause to reflect and refocus: Try it right now. Take a deep breath and check in with yourself. What signals are you noticing about your body’s needs? What are you proud of or grateful for right now?
- Decompress periodically: Reduce screen time by choosing a physically or mentally restorative activity away from your devices. For instance, take a hot shower, spend time with a pet, chat with a friend, or do some drawing. Even a short break can help you re-energize.
- Move: Staying in a static position (like hunched over your books) for long periods of time can really drain your energy. Pause and try doing some light stretches or take a quick walk to reactivate your body. Pay attention to tightness in your body, like in your shoulders, where tension and static body positions create soreness.
- Sleep: Try your best to get enough sleep. It can be tempting to sacrifice sleep for more study time, but our brains need sleep to form and consolidate memories as well as better regulate our physical and mental health. Brief naps can also be restorative and help boost your memory.
- Feed your mind and body: Nutrition is brain food too. Eat a healthy breakfast and prep snacks for study sessions to keep your energy up. Be sure to hydrate regularly.
- Celebrate with peers: A post-exam pizza or decompression session in Aldrich Park are great ways to wrap-up the quarter and release tension. Plus, having something positive to anticipate is good for your mindset.
Utilize Available Resources:
- Take a five-minute guided meditation from the UCLA Mindfulness Awareness Research Center to refresh your mind.
- Try out UCI Dr. Sarah Mednick’s Nap Wheel Tool for taking effective naps.
- Check out the New University article “Best Places to Nap on Campus.”
- Explore the FRESH Basic Needs Hub Food Pantry.
- Review the UCI Water Bottle filling station map.
Line Up Academic Support:
- Connect with your faculty: Seek advice and clarification as early as possible. Attend office hours and bring your questions to your instructor. Check out this video on what to do during office hours.
- Utilize available tutoring resources: LARC, Bio Sci Peer Tutoring, Chem Peer Tutoring, Organic Chem Tutoring, Math Department Tutors, Physics Tutoring, etc. provide peer support and subject-specific guidance. Most tutors hold sessions or drop-in hours through Week 10, and you can find study guides, tips, and other review materials to help you as you prepare.
- Connect with campus social support: Departments like UCI SOAR host exam week spaces to decompress and provide resources like scantrons and snacks.
- Consult an expert: You can make an appointment with a UCI Writing Specialist or LARC Academic Coach to get feedback on your writing or study strategies.
- Reduce distractions: Protect your time and concentration by closing other tabs on your computer and silencing your phone. If you need some privacy, reserve a quiet space for studying solo, with your study buddies, or for taking online assessments. Check out LARC study room reservations, the Social Sciences Computer & Study Space, or set up a virtual space on Discord or Zoom to work alongside a friend. You can also try one of these surprisingly wholesome “study with me” videos to boost concentration.
- Set your priorities: If you’re juggling a lot of competing priorities, try interleaving and the Pomodoro Technique to make headway on multiple tasks. Remember to include time for rest and self-care in your plan.
- Study together: Your classmates are an asset! Check out our tips for successful study groups.
- Condense information: Create study guides and tools that help you make sense of the content and make reviewing and quizzing yourself easier.
- Use proven methods: Strategies like retrieval boost your memory and deep learning better than looking over material or rereading notes. Check out our post on best learning strategies for more study tips.
Finally, if you’re looking for academic support leading up to finals, the team at LARC is always happy to assist! Meet with one of our academic coaches one-on-one or check out our best learning tips. You can also reserve a study room at LARC (ALP, third floor) on Fridays and during exam weeks.
Please don’t hesitate to contact us for additional information.