Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Zach’s declassified finals survival guide

Photo courtesy of Creative Commons.

Grab your cloak and pencil — fall finals are coming. That being said, there are ways to come out on top and succeed through this hectic time of year. With this survival guide, I hope to help all students thrive and survive this upcoming final grading period.


Cleaning your room, area of study or just your backpack will help clear clutter — both physically and mentally. A clean space is a healthy space.

Hit Up Your Classmates

Meeting up to work with classmates is crucial to understanding the content for class. Supplemental Instruction (SI) Sessions, when available, are another alternative to making the most of a class. When it comes to studying and preparation, strength comes in numbers. Collaborating with your peers tends to be a great way of increasing your chances for an A. Don’t be afraid to hit up the professor as well, if something is not explained thoroughly enough. At the end of the day, everyone is there to succeed and get better.

Create a To-Do List

I know it sounds cliché, but a to-do list keeps you on a path and mentally in check. It is perfectly fine to start small and work your way up to more challenging tasks. Stay at a comfortable pace. As long as you stay productive, you feel good, which will lead to more productivity. As Deion Sanders said, “If you look good, you feel good. If you feel good, you play good. If you play good, they pay good.” You may not be getting paid, per se, but you will be rewarded by achieving your goals and obtaining a sense of accomplishment. Plus, once finals are finished, you will have all the time to do whatever it is you please.


Referring back to the quote above, feeling good is arguably the biggest aspect of success for finals season. One of the best ways to feel empowered within yourself is through working out. Cardio or lifting weights can suffice. Post-workout you will feel as if you can take on the world!

Find Your Comfort Zone

Some people study in the comfort of their own home. Some like coffee shops or libraries — the list can go on. Find your element and get to work. Being in a comfortable environment can go a long way when studying. Just don’t get too comfortable and fall asleep.

Start Early

It is easier said than done. The smallest push of productivity will create a domino effect and you will begin to finish things left and right. Prioritizing assignments first is crucial for getting work done. There is no better feeling than watching Netflix or hanging out with friends, knowing you do not have to worry about turning in any assignments. The earlier the better, so you have the rest of the day to enjoy your hobbies.

Don’t Forget to Relax

This is probably the most important aspect of this guide. Relaxation reduces stress and leads to a calmer mind. Whether it be spending time with friends and family, watching something or just taking a fat nap, you’ve got to treat yourself after working hard. There are a plethora of events around San Antonio that can entertain you in the midst of study days and finals week. One fan favorite is the annual lighting of the River Walk, which occurs on the day after Thanksgiving.

It can be hard, but just remember, it will be worth it once the grind is over. It helps being surrounded by friendly faces with similar goals. These tips are here to help fellow students make the most of their limited time frames and utilize their resources under pressure.

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