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December — A student’s perspective

By Catherine Scott

December is here — finals are approaching and winter vacation is just around the bend.

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High School Parent | College Parent

The next few weeks will be packed with hard work, anticipation of break, and stress. Depending on when a university finishes exams, December can be a short month, but in no way does it pass quickly. There is tons going on, and tons to do!

Though finals are stressful by definition, exam week can go smoothly if students know what to expect and figure out the best way to study for each class. During the last few weeks of the semester, teachers provide numerous opportunities for students to get the help and information they need. Some professors provide extra credit opportunities, and many classes offer review sessions or extra office hours to help students prepare for the final. It’s wise to put effort into any extra credit essays, review sheets, or projects — all are great opportunities to boost grades and review material.

For students, the most challenging part of December is staying focused and motivated. Finals coincide with the excitement of the holiday season, which includes upcoming vacation plans and reunions with friends and family. Getting caught up in the anticipation of break can make it tempting to prioritize anything but studying, but this is the worst decision a student can make. Finals are the culmination of the hard work we’ve put into our classes, and finishing strong will make vacation a lot more fun.

Schools are aware that it’s hard to stay motivated in December, so they build accommodations into the calendar to make it more bearable. “Dead days” or reading periods between the end of classes and the start of exams give students extra time to prepare for finals and enjoy school-sponsored events or free food (always a morale booster!).

As a junior, I can say from experience that the best way to prepare for the end of the semester is to go into exams with a solid grasp on what the expectations are for each class. That way there are no unwelcome surprises during exams!

About the Author:

UniversityParent intern Catherine Scott is a student at Baylor University in Waco, Texas. She writes her monthly “student perspective” essays to give parents insights into campus life and culture so they can better understand and support their own students, wherever they go to school.

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