Taking your Time: Finally finals

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John Lindenau

This will be my final column of the year.

I’m glad I’ve had a platform where I could express my thoughts for the past couple of months. If you’ve enjoyed, thank you for taking your time to stop by and read what I had to say. If you hated it, thanks anyway for giving me a shot.

The final thing I’d like to talk about is just that — finals.

Ah finals. Those little tests that can count toward 30 or 40 percent of your grade, causing massive stress as you take your time in the library preparing for the hardest exam of the year.

While they’re still a few short weeks ahead, the stress is already setting in. Even though some of your exams might be considered easy, I bet there’s a good chance you’ve already started studying or plan to soon.

But remember to take a breath every now and again — don’t let yourself be consumed by studying in these last few weeks of the semester.

Once you let yourself get distraught by the overpowering nature of finals, you begin heading down the wrong path. Don’t get me wrong: Study your butt off to get ready, but remember to take at least five minutes every hour to just decompress and let yourself relax.

Trust me — it helps.

I was utterly consumed by studying my first semester, essentially locking myself in the library for days at a time to get the material down and be as ready as I could once test time came. Once that test arrived, I felt even more anxious than before I started preparing.

To put it lightly, I bombed it.

Frankly, the fact that I managed to pass my economics class was a miracle. I was so self-absorbed and fanatic about studying that I had unintentionally fried my brain in the process.

The next semester, I felt more prepared because of this experience. When finals time arrived in what seemed like only a few weeks, I vowed to approach them with an entirely new mindset so I didn’t repeat my previous performance. 

Instead of being manic with my studying, I relaxed. By distributing my time between studying my butt off and taking breaks, I was able to keep myself sane. I went into tests confident and content, unlike the previous year when I was exhausted and erratic.

I performed much better than before, simply because I took my time.

My advice for finals: Don’t get trapped in your own bubble. Don’t get consumed in the grind — that’s how you lose yourself in this season.

Instead, take a minute to look around. This is a hard time for everyone, but as long as you take a moment to breathe and get away from your work, you can make it so much easier.

Thank you again for going through this semester with me. Even if you didn’t take any of the advice to heart, I hope you at least enjoyed reading what I had to say.

John Lindenau, ’20, is a columnist and associate sports editor for The Brown and White. He can be reached at jhl320@lehigh.edu.

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