Preparing for Finals
From Dr. Angela Gaddis, Dept. of Social Work
Cooler temps, holiday decorations, and the look of panic on students faces all are a sign of one thing…the end of the semester is quickly approaching. Many students are just coming to the realization that the semester is quickly ending. With that realization, comes the reality of assignments being due and final examinations. As a parent you can encourage your student in several ways to help them prepare for this time. Here are a few suggestions:
- Encourage them to minimize distractions. Give them permission to tell others “no” if the request is going to take away from their time to focus on their studies.
- Remind them to get rest. We all seem to live in a world of perpetual motion which screams “busy-ness is best”. Simply ask them how much rest they are getting. Lack of rest increases our anxiety and decreases our ability to focus. They need sleep!
- Utilize available academic support. As Dr. Price posted in her blog, there are many resources available to help students with their studies, both on-line and on campus. Encourage them to use these.
- Simply listen to them. When students feel overwhelmed they often simply need to verbalize what they are feeling. Many do not need nor expect solutions; they simply need to talk about their stress. Listen and encourage them with positive affirmation which relays to them your belief they can successfully complete the semester. Don’t minimize what they are feeling.
- Check their final exam schedule. Before the family makes holiday plans, book airline flights, etc., students need to know when they’re expected to take finals. Allow them ample time to complete their exams before expecting them to be home.
- Send a care package. This is also a great time to send something from home to students as encouragement and to decrease the stress for a moment.
Finals begin at 6:00 pm on December 4 and end on December 11. All the best to you and your students as the holiday season approaches.
Dr. Angela Gaddis is Chair/Associate Professor of Social Work at Belhaven University. In addition to teaching, Dr. Gaddis is a member of the Student Success Task Force. She has also served as a mentor in Belhaven’s freshman seminar course.
Countdown to Finals (from the Office of Student Success)
Students who have a plan for approaching finals tend to decrease anxiety and improve their performance. The Office of Student Success suggests the following “countdown” to students for the weeks leading up to finals:
Two to Three Weeks Before:
- Find out the day, time, scope, and format of all finals. Is there a test review? If yes, when is it? Ask your instructor for details in each class.
- Re-read the syllabus for any hints or directions for your preparation.
- Target all the information you accumulated that’s “fair game” for exams.
- Divide the information into manageable “chunks.”
- This is what you’d study at one sitting, for 30-90 minutes per class.
One Week Before:
- Stick to the above, but begin to integrate newly acquired information into your studying.
- Do not rely on just the final “review session.” Go over everything.
- Review older information while you “work in” the newest. You may be acquiring new content until the day before the exam!
- Can you explain the information to someone else? This is a great way to know what you know.
- Review your finals week schedule.
- Plan your week. Prioritize your time, considering the following:
- Your current grade in the course
- The percent of the total course grade the final contributes
- The time and day of the week for which the final is scheduled
Registration for Spring Semester
Students can register now for the spring 2013 semester. They have access to view their academic plan and courses available in BlazeNet. Students need to meet with their academic advisor for approval as part of the registration process. Please encourage your son or daughter to register before the holidays and finals get started.
No classes will be held Wednesday, November 21st through Friday, November 23rd for Thanksgiving break. Classes will resume on Monday, November 26th.
Monday, December 3rd is the last day of regular class meetings for the fall semester. Finals will be given from Tuesday, December 4th through Tuesday, December 11th.
Residence Halls close Thursday, December 13th at 5pm. Resident students who are graduating or helping with commencement activities may stay until 5pm on Saturday, December 15th. Please make travel arrangements with these dates in mind.
*Students should be mindful of the exam schedule and not plan to leave campus for the break until after his or her scheduled exams are completed.
Athletics, Arts & Campus Activities
There are many athletic and arts events happening on campus. From football to dance, there’s something for everyone. Here are a few upcoming events:
Thurs. 11/15: Fall Dance Concert, 11 am, Bitsy Irby – Dance Studio 4
Thurs. 11/15: IM Dodge Ball Playoffs, 7:30 pm, Heidelberg Gym – Rugg Arena
Thurs. 11/15: MS Humanities Council Presentation by R.M. Foncree, 7 pm, Student Center – Theater
Thurs. 11/15: Wind, Percussion, & Jazz Ensemble Concert, 7:30 pm, Center for the Arts – Concert Hall
Fri. 11/16: BU W Basketball vs Southern Polytechnic State University, 5:30 pm, Rugg Arena
Fri. 11/16: BU M Basketball vs Southern Polytechnic State University, 7:30 pm, Rugg Arena
Fri. 11/16: Fall Dance Concert, 7:30 pm, Bitsy Irby – Dance Studio 4
Sat. 11/17: Handel’s Messiah, 2 pm, Center for the Arts – Concert Hall
Sat. 11/17: BU W Basketball vs College of Coastal Georgia, 3 pm, Rugg Arena
Sat. 11/17: BU M Basketball vs College of Coastal Georgia, 5 pm, Rugg Arena
Sat. 11/17: Fall Dance Concert, 7:30 pm, Bitsy Irby – Dance Studio 4
Mon. 11/19: Best of Belhaven, 7:30 pm, Center for the Arts – Concert Hall
Tues. 11/27: One Act Play Festival, 8 pm, Barber Auditorium – Auditorium
Wed. 11/28: DOXA Fall Dance Concert, 7:30 pm, Bitsy Irby – Dance Studio 4
Wed. 11/28: One Act Play Festival, 8 pm, Barber Auditorium – Auditorium
Thurs. 11/29: DOXA Fall Dance Concert, 7:30 pm, Bitsy Irby – Dance Studio 4
Fri. 11/30: Singing Christmas Tree, 7 pm, Soccer Bowl
Sat. 12/1: Singing Christmas Tree, 7 pm, Soccer Bowl
Sun. 12/2: Handel’s Messiah, 2 pm, Center for the Arts – Concert Hall
Tues. 12/4: Overseas Internship Presentation, 11 am, Student Center – Theater
Thurs. 12/13: Residence Halls close, 5 pm
Belhaven’s Singing Christmas Tree began in 1933 and is considered the first and oldest outdoor singing Christmas tree event in the country. It was named one of the top 20 events in the Southeast by the Southeast Tourism Society and it continually draws in thousands of people each year.
This year will mark the 80th anniversary of the tree and to celebrate its long history, a special reunion choir of past Belhaven Christmas tree singers will join students for this years’ performance.
Both concerts on November 30 and December 1 will take place on the Belhaven University Athletic Bowl in the center of campus at 7:30 p.m. This family-friendly event is free to the public, and attendees are encouraged to dress in warm clothes and bring blankets or chairs to sit on. Call 601-974-6494 for more information.
As always, please contact Marcie Beam if you have any questions regarding any of this information or have questions not addressed in this blog.
(email@example.com or 601-968-8744).
Marcie Beam, Student Retention Specialist