It’s finally finals week!


Nicole Hayek

A comfortable and clean study environment helps memorization skills and motivation.

Nicole Hayek, Editor-in-Chief

Finals week for San Diego Mesa College will begin on Dec.12, and there are several tips for students to ensure their preparation and success. During finals week, it is crucial for students to be studying in order to receive their preferred grades, and they must stay calm and focused to initiate their study sessions. 

Studies have shown that associating academics with music and scents helps memory function. Youtube has many “chill” playlists and calming songs/beats that students can play, not only to set a comfortable study environment but to emphasize memory as well. Some student favorites include Lofi Hip Hop radio, Lofi Chill station, and Chill Study Beats playlist.

Lighting a candle, or using a satisfying scent that a student does not smell frequently, can also assist them in enhancing their memory. Amanda Hodgson, a student at Mesa College, says “I like to spray a perfume that I don’t usually wear in my room when I’m studying, and then wear it on test day, and I have found that it works quite well for me.” A recommended candle scent to assist with studying is Ashwood and Palo Santo from bath and body works. 

It is important that when a student is setting up their work environment, they avoid their bed. A study done by Pepperdine University says that studying in bed decreases productivity, limits focus, and interrupts sleep. Since people tend to associate their beds with sleep, our brains are wired to desire rest when we are in them. If a person’s bed doesn’t make them lose focus, chances are other things in their room will, so it’s best to study in an environment where distractions are kept to a minimum. Starbucks, where free WIFI is offered, is a good example of such a place.

Ensuring that one’s area is clean is also key to succeeding in studying and memorization skills. Research suggests that mess and clutter have a negative effect on ones learning ability. If a study area is clean and tidy, one will be more motivated to work and focused on their learning. This is due to disorganized spaces causing anxiety and stress. Obviously, when a student is stressed or anxious, their success will be limited by those emotions. Take the time during finals week to create a safe and comfortable environment for yourself. 

Once a student has cleaned their space, put on calming music, and lit a candle, they can begin to direct their attention to academics. There are many ways that students can assist themselves with studying. The first way to help yourself this week is to avoid cramming. Waiting until the last minute to absorb mass amounts of information is bound to backfire. Allowing yourself time to understand information, then go back and refresh on said information, can make all the difference in test scores. Secondly, ask for help. Many students find it beneficial to have a study partner to assist them with studying. It can be helpful to say the information you are trying to learn out loud to a peer and have them assist you in memorizing flashcards. Another thing to remember when studying is to take breaks. The brain can only consume so much information at a time, so studying too much at once will overwhelm the brain and cause it to absorb much less information than it is getting. Lastly, setting goals can be helpful when studying. A student can track how much progress they have made when they set specific goals for themselves. 

As this semester comes to a close, students should ensure that they are taking care of their physical and mental health in order to see the success they want to see reflected in their grades.