Features staff report, Chattanooga, Tenn. –

Hayden Seay, Features Editor

When I study for anything, I need two things: Multiple cups of tea and Hall and Oates.

In order to stay on top of exams, I simply go to class, take somewhat good notes, save my tests and quizzes and follow study guides as closely as possible. This is normally what happens. But throughout my last few semesters, cramming has become second nature to me and I love it.

While I highly recommend that you don’t cram, sometimes it’s the only way to survive. I start at least four days ahead of the exam by figuring out what’s important enough to be on the final. Finding this out can be as simple as looking back at the tests and quizzes you have already taken or through a professor’s study guide. I write everything I need to know, making sure everything is clear and concise.

After my notes are finished, I read through them several times before the exam. By the time it finally rolls around, the notes have become a part of who I am and filling in all the answers is no problem.

Besides having strategies to study in both cases, entertainment and going outside are almost as important as studying itself. Don’t deprive yourself of a good book, music, game, twenty minutes (fine, countless hours) of adorable cat videos, whatever. Not letting yourself have relaxation and freedom will only make it harder on yourself, whether you’re cramming or not.

Anna Prater, Assistant Features Editor

I’m going to be real with you – studying is not my jam. I never learned how to sit down for more than an hour at a time unless some serious Netflix binging was involved. But, finally, in my penultimate semester of college, I finally figured out the key.

Yik yak, gif-texting, the general black hole we call the internet – these are insurmountable distractions that I thought I would never overcome. So for those of you who, like me, have zero self-control when brought face-to-face with videos of teacup pigs and the millionth Hotline Bling parody, follow me for just a minute.

There are apps that take control for you. My personal favorite, Freedom, blocks the internet for up to eight hours at a time. And if you still need to browse the web for research or email, it will only block the corners of the internet that you specify are most distracting to you. So if you’re waiting on an email from your professor but just can’t seem to stop refreshing Instagram no matter how many times you see that picture of your friend’s baby dressed as an elf, this app is for you.

Search “concentration apps” in the app store for all of your devices to find one that suits you. I will say this – leaving Spotify accessible doesn’t hurt. Writing that final research paper to The Hobbit soundtrack will leave you feeling empowered and ready to conquer every last exam.

Ashley Garcia, Staff Writer

I try to stay as stress free as possible during the end of the semester. Stressing only makes trying to do well on final exams more difficult. To study, I organize all my classes into stacks and make flash cards for essential vocabulary words. Once I make them for each class, I’ll study them.

As I go through them, I make a pile for the ones I know for sure and the ones I don’t, and then focus on the “don’t know” pile. I only study for an hour at a time. This helps keep my stress level down. During my breaks, I’ll watch an episode of a show I like or go outside for a walk.

Taking time to relax helps me focus when it is time to go back to studying. I also won’t stay up all night. Even if I feel like I just have to keep studying, I go to sleep because there is only so much information a person can retain in one night.

For finals week, the keys to keeping a low stress level are to stay organized and manage time properly and take study breaks to relax the brain.


Whether you are studying over time or at the last minute, there are a number of ways to survive the last week of the semester. Study as best as you can and don’t stress out!