Balance is important for a successful finals week 

By DeMadre Turner, Contributing Writer 
The time has almost come when students are in full-fledged finals mode as the semester comes to an end. Campuses across the nation prepare to take on a rigorous week full of tests for the end of the semester. Many students believe finals to be the most difficult part of the semester, and unfortunately they have a tendency to sneak up on students pretty quickly. 
Successfully balancing finals with social life as well as extra-curricular activities can be a difficult task to overcome. Fortunately, in the midst of these trials there are ways to sanely make it through the week, such as utilizing their syllabus, time management skills and group study times. 
During these difficult times, students may want to pull their hair out more than once, but there are other healthy alternatives. One quick, easy way to be prepared for finals is to look at the syllabus frequently; a syllabus contains assignment and test dates, the professor’s office hours, and other valuable information that will vary depending on the specific professor. 
This not only helps prepare students for finals, but it helps them be ready for each and every assignment and have access to communicate with the professor. In fact, one-on-one time with a professor is one of the true advantages of going to a smaller school like West Liberty University. 
On the subject of small school advantages, sophomore transfer student Bryce Humphrey added, “the teachers really care if you succeed, as compared to bigger schools when you are just another number.” Humphrey spent his first semester at West Virginia University. Students must utilize the tools we have as much as possible between classes or any free time we may have. Time management is vital during all of the months leading to the end of the semester, but most importantly during finals.
Many students declare that the toughest part of school is not exactly the school work itself, but trying to juggle school while continuing to have a social life. Time management is the top skill that a college student should possess. 
Hannah Pauls said, “Sometimes I just feel like there are not enough hours in the day to get everything done. I’ll be hanging with friends and suddenly three hours have gone by.” It can be easy to get caught up procrastinating and skip out on studying. Prioritizing is the key to being focused and keeping the future in mind coming down the stretch. 
Daily planners are a strategic way to manage activities and upcoming events, especially to avoid conflicts within schedules. They may also be used for staying focused on the task at hand and setting goals for every day. 
Writing down what you want to accomplish in a day gives a visual outline of how one will get things done chronologically, and planners facilitate this process. West Liberty senior Kyla Pierce-Wood said, “Keep a dry erase board so you can use it for a big day, or to plan out a week.” No matter the method you use, planning out each day will improve efficiency.
For students who participate in in other social activities around campus such as sports, Greek life, or other extra-curriculars, finals may be even more of a burden. Study times may begin to clash with meetings, and papers become due the day after sporting events or social activities. The last month of each semester is already difficult to keep under control without considering friends, holidays, sports and all of the other distractions. 
After adding those extracurricular activities into the equation, it is easy to get flustered; however, it is possible to achieve this well-roundedness. 
cob-loungeStudying in groups can encourage and motivate students when they are feeling overwhelmed. “Two heads are always better than one,” said senior Zach Brown, adding, “classmates that study together pass together.” In fact, students may even use the library for lack of anywhere else to go; the library is open until 11 p.m. throughout the year but during finals week they extend hours until midnight
Although there are different things to do during the final weeks of the semester, it is essential to find the time to study. “I just study all day before the games, and all night during Greek week,” said student Brianna Renk. Other students try to get ahead on their school work, such as Bryce Humphrey, who said, “I try to get as much as I can before it’s due because we have matches twice a week. So if I’m not ahead I might fall behind.” 
As long as students are prepared for these tough upcoming events and the tasks they are going to be challenged with, one can achieve success during finals week. Keeping the ultimate goal in your head will also be a great way to pass finals. Goals may be different for each student, but keeping them in mind are a good motivator while going through the trials. 
The week starts with a midnight breakfast provided to the students by Sodexo, and ends with the freedom that comes along with the closing of another semester down. 
Whether it be looking forward to the holidays and snowy breaks or the warmth of and fun of the summer time,  everyone’s favorite time of the school year are Christmas and summer breaks. 
So, after we finish off all the hard work performed throughout the semester, we can look back and celebrate the results when the grades come back.
Photos provided by: Morgan Goddard & Daniel Morgan