The reality of finals has changed this semester due to virtual classes


Photo courtesy of Vlada Karpovich on Pexels

Finals this semester will feel different for many students due to the pandemic.

Maria Jungers, Opinion Editor

As a transfer student, my first semester at CSUSM has been an interesting adjustment, especially during finals. 

Typically, I would be getting together with other classmates to study and cope with the stress of finals. There was something comfortable and familiar with feeling like your classmates were going through the trenches with you. 

Previous semesters during finals looked like meeting at crowded coffee shops and struggling to find a table or leaving the library alone at 9 p.m. at night after hours of studying. 

But the reality of finals has shifted this semester. 

Finals season will begin and end not in a classroom full of nervous faces, scantrons and calculators, but in the private space of my own room. 

In a way, I have come to actually enjoy it and look forward to it. Taking tests has not always been a forte of mine, but this semester I realized that it is not so bad in the comfort of my own home.

I feel a sense of peace being able to take an exam without any distractions or interruptions from other peers. I am more focused and ready to pour out my knowledge into what I learned this semester. 

Taking online classes has definitely been an adjustment for me, but I feel that my concentration has increased due to fewer stressors such as finding a parking spot and making it to class on time and the increased stimulation of being in a classroom setting. Those variables do not exist this semester, and who knows how long this will be the case. 

During finals, it is important to stay organized. The more organized you are, the better you have a chance of succeeding during an exam. 

Personally, I make a daily to-do list and write down which class or classes I will study for. This helps me focus on one class at a time. 

I give myself one or two hours to study, taking a couple of breaks during the study session. Sometimes I go for a walk outside and get fresh air or stretch on my yoga mat and close my eyes to give myself time away from my screen. 

Giving yourself breaks during studying is effective and important because it allows you to absorb and process information you are learning or trying to remember. 

Another strategy I use to stay sane during finals season is to make sure that I am eating healthy food and getting proper exercise. 

This is important and helpful because good food is like fuel for our brain. It may be tempting to eat fast food during this season because it is quick and easy, but being mindful of what we put into our bodies can make all the difference in how we perform on an exam. 

Going out to exercise for at least 20 to 30 minutes is also beneficial. Even if it is just for a short walk up the street or a quick bike ride, it will help get your blood flowing and release endorphins in your body to make us feel good. 

Finals is a difficult and stressful time for many students. So wherever you are during this quarantine, just remind yourself to prioritize your mental and physical health, study hard and take one thing at a time.