Finals week is both a stressful and an exciting time for the Catholic University community. The University offers a number of resources to help students navigate the week, which, for the fall semester, will be Dec. 13 to 17.
Patrick Brame, an academic coach in the Center for Academic and Career Success, meets with students regularly to map out their academic success. He is an advocate for routine, especially during finals week. He said that with a routine comes sufficient time to reserve energy for studying. He recommends working on mindfulness, maintaining a consistent sleep schedule, exercising, and minimizing absent-minded social media scrolling.
“Time management is crucial. We want to avoid high stress cramming sessions. As early as possible, develop a plan,” said Brame. “The goal is to study a little bit everyday. Do the same for papers or projects. Break down your tasks into short term goals. Completing tasks, however small, will boost your confidence.”
The University has an abundance of resources to help students study effectively. Students can reach out to Tutoring Services, the Writing Center, or their professors to meet during office hours. The Counseling Center is also a great resource for students who want to talk to someone about their stress.
A traditional Forty Hours Devotion will be held the weekend before finals (Dec. 9 to 11) to provide a spiritual space to express thanks to God for a fruitful semester, pray for exams, and offer up intentions for the whole University community. The Blessed Sacrament will remain exposed for 40 hours consecutively from the end of the 5:10 p.m. Mass on Friday to the beginning of the 11 a.m. Mass on Sunday in St. Paul’s Chapel in Caldwell Hall.
Brame said it is important after going through what can be a spiritually, mentally, and emotionally taxing time to “take a moment when you are done to reflect on the semester and everything you have achieved.”
“Mark the occasion with a (safe) celebratory event, something that will remain significant to you in the years that come. You’ve earned it!” said Brame.