By Yvette Cho ’19Dec. 11, 2018
December: The only month where the general public gets in the holiday spirit with family, friends, and food, while simultaneously, most college students franticly wrap up their courses and prepare for final exams. From the perspective of someone experiencing the latter, I think it’s safe to say that it’s the least wonderful time of the year!
Typically, I charge into finals week with revolutionary zeal, inwardly shouting “Give me liberty or give me death!” or at least pumping myself up by listening to Hamilton. This approach has proven to lead me to victory or defeat, typically depending on my course load. This semester in particular, with completely unrelated classes, it looks like one of my finals will be on the intricacies of beetle dating, while another will be on solving global financial crises. I’ll leave it up to you to decide which one is more difficult.
I’m looking to get more insight on how other students are managing their finals week to learn their tips and tricks, and also feel a little less alone in this moment. If you’re also a fellow student worried about this upcoming finals week, have a look at what other students’ thoughts are on finals!
Raphy Flicker ‘21
Majors: Economics & Health: Science, Society and Policy
Minors: International and Global Studies & Computer Science
Having an exam in all of your courses during finals week is pretty uncommon, unless you’re Raphy Flicker ’21. With his final’s outlook being an exam in all five of his courses, Raphy’s plan is to take this on strategically.
“I figured out how to study for each class early on,” he explained. “You need to build a plan for yourself based on the class, prioritize more difficult courses, and manage it one final at a time.”
Double majoring in Economics and Health: Science, Society, and Policy and double minoring in Computer Science and International and Global Studies is no easy task, but Raphy has managed to take this on by developing study methods that adapt to his diverse course load.
“For more science-based classes, it’s all about learning the concepts and going over practice problems. For more humanities-based classes, it’s a lot of memorizing, so I like to turn the information into a story based on how the professors explained it.”
After a long week of exams, Raphy plans to reward himself with some skiing during his winter break. This is definitely well deserved, although, I think I would prefer going into hibernation if I survived his finals week.
Wyatt Emenaker ‘19
“Try not to overstudy,” stated Wyatt Emenaker ’19. “Especially in science classes, the final is one exam and the professor can’t test you on every little niche detail.”
As a chemistry student in his last year at Brandeis, Wyatt knows the ropes when it comes to studying. Putting in the work and time prior to finals week is key when trying to create a less stressful exam schedule.
“Make sure to start early. If you wait until the end of classes to start studying for finals, there really isn’t much time left.”
This semester, his finals outlook includes a thermo chemistry exam, computer science exam, and a sociology paper for his Body and Health course. No need to worry though, his exam for a materials chemistry lab was last week!
He plans to review past assignments, go over practice problems, and solidify his knowledge on general concepts to help him prepare for his exams. He’s actually most concerned about his paper, so he will reach out to his professor for some writing advice.
Once he completes his second to last finals week as an undergrad at Brandeis, Wyatt is excited to celebrate the holidays with his family and friends.
Elizabeth Cayouette-Gluckman ‘20
“Finals week is my favorite time of the semester,” said Elizabeth Cayouette-Gluckman ‘20. “My classes are project-based so I can spend my finals week on projects that I’m most passionate about.”
With a podcast for her Business and Culture course, a community-focused talk show entitled “Proper Bantah,” and a documentary on the Women’s Rugby Team all on her agenda for this coming finals week, Elizabeth has a bright outlook for the end of the semester.
“I have a lot of choice in my finals. I get to decide on the final projects I like at the beginning of my classes and it will become a cumulative wrap up of what we learned over the semester.”
Finals week becomes an exciting time to add any finishing touches to these projects for Elizabeth, and typically see the finished product of hard work and dedication she has put in over the year.
Her tip to fellow students working on a final media project is to visit the Sound and Image Media Studios located in the library on Farber 3. They offer the resources, equipment, and staffing needed to create whatever you need regardless of your experience with film.
Once the semester comes to an end, Elizabeth plans to have fun photo shoots with friends while on campus and then head up to New York for some New Year’s festivities.
Regardless of how you feel about this coming week, remember that your student experience here at Brandeis is worth more than just a few exams or papers. Good luck with studying; we’re all in this together!