Students share finals concerns, experiences, advice

Freshman Rebecca Brodne poses for a professional headshot.

Photo Courtesy of Rebecca Brodne

Freshman Rebecca Brodne poses for a professional headshot.

By Features Staff

This semester has presented an abundance of challenges for students, staff and faculty alike on campus. Learning to balance virtual learning and safe in-person classes has pushed everyone to their limit. 

Now, as the semester draws to a close, students have one more hurdle to overcome before they can take several weeks to destress: finals. 

While last semester’s finals also took place virtually, this semester has the advantage of several months of preparation. Professors have a number of options to choose from as to how they will administer and grade their final projects and exams. For many students, though, this may mean a wider variety of platforms that they must be prepared to use.

The Daily Illini asked a number of students to reflect as they prepare for a week of finals unlike what many have ever experienced before. They expressed their concerns, shared their experiences and offered some advice.

Melony Allen, junior in Media

Get The Daily Illini in your inbox!

  • Catch the latest on University of Illinois news, sports, and more. Delivered every weekday.
  • Stay up to date on all things Illini sports. Delivered every Monday.
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.
Thank you for subscribing!

“Okay, so my advice for students trying to retain the most information is to take adequate breaks. It’s very easy to burn out. I like to schedule in time for the gym and yoga almost every day. For me, it relieves tension, and I go back into studying with a clearer mind. I also set a timer for all my work. During finals, I’ll set up a strict schedule. For example, I have 6 hours to get everything done, so I’ll do 1 hour for French, 15 minute break then head to the next subject. Overall, frequent breaks in between studies are how I get things done while retaining the most info!”

Eve Rubovits, freshman in AHS

“I’m feeling pretty good. I think I’m a little bit nervous just with all the work I have to do, but it’s not too bad. Trying to schedule out your day so that you pick certain times where you’re going to work on different things is really helpful for me so that I’m not just sitting with my whole day available and sometimes I don’t even do anything.”

Rebecca Brodne, freshman in Architecture

“I’m feeling a bit strange about finals, because not only is this my first college final, it is all completely online. I have been doing online tests all semester, but, for some reason, this time feels different. I am managing my stress by making sure to give myself breaks between activities. This could be anything from taking a nap, to watching Netflix, to going out to eat with friends.”

Caroline Oczachowski, junior in Business

“With the COVID-19 thing going on it’s definitely different with everything being online, so I’m a little bit more nervous about finals. I know that’s something everyone’s been feeling, and I certainly feel that leading up to finals at home in the comfort of your own bed.”

Jia Situ, sophomore in Business

Whenever finals season approaches, it can become very overwhelming. I think my biggest tip for everyone is to just keep focused and know that these exams will not matter in the long run. Don’t pressure yourself and just make sure to take a deep breath and have a good night’s rest before any exam.”

Addison Curtis, sophomore in LAS

“Give yourself a little bit of grace. This semester has been really really hard for everybody, and they’ve changed the credit no credit policy and the drop policy for a reason, so honestly just try your best because I know that I struggled with, like, trying to pressure myself to do as well as I’ve done in previous semesters, but honestly, right now for a lot of people that’s not feasible, so we need to be able to recognize that we just need to do what we can do instead of trying to uphold some standard that we think that we should have.”

[email protected]