Finishing Strong: Matadors Share Their Advice for a Successful End of the Semester

  • Students sit at a library table studying

    With finals around the corner, students share their advice to successfully end the semester. Photo by Lee Choo

  • The USU is a popular option for those that enjoy studying outdoors. Photo by Lee Choo

  • Student sitting reading something from her laptop

    The University Library is a very popular spot for students to prepare for finals. Photo by Lee Choo

Timers, music, white noise and meditation. These are just some of the things that Matadors use to help cope with the stress of studying for finals. If you’re feeling stuck, trying something new might help! We asked some CSUN students to share their tips and advice on what powers them through studying.

Name: Melanie J. Guerrero
Year: Senior.
Major: Broadcast Journalism
Favorite Place to Study: I like studying outside or in the library.
What Powers them Through Studying: What powers me through studying is not being so strict with myself. It sounds funny, but if I give myself a few minutes here and there to let myself wander, eat or even respond to a few texts, then I get relaxed enough to study.
Advice for finals: Take every day or final one step at a time. Focus on one primary thing and then move on to the next. Don’t be afraid to take a break from one subject to another.
Recommended resources: University Library study rooms

Name: Zena Taher
Year: Junior (2023 graduation)
Major: Journalism, with an emphasis on radio broadcast
Favorite Place to Study: University Library, level 1 or 2, normally. Also, level 4, but only when I need it to be dead silent.
What Powers them Through Studying: I really struggle with studying, so I don’t have much advice. Usually, I’ll set a timer for an hour or two, study until the timer is finished, and then take a break.
Advice for finals: Do your best to do legwork early on in the semester, so you’re not cramming during finals. If you’re able to take time off of work, you can if you need to. Stay in touch with your friends and do things to relax in between study sessions.
Recommended resources: For finals, always search your class and exam on Quizlet. Someone may have made a deck you can study. You can also make your own deck, and Quizlet has different games you can play that will help with memorization. Also, check RateMyProfessor for your professor and your class. A lot of the time, people have good studying tips on there. My last bit of advice is to use the upper levels of the library as quiet places to study, and use the study rooms if you need to film a presentation but are stuck on campus.

Name: Belen Luis Mendez
Year: Senior
Major: Child Development
Favorite Place to Study: The [large balcony] of the USU Sol Center
What powers them Through Studying: looking forward to a fun summer
Advice for finals: It’s all worth it in the end.
Recommended resources: University Library, USU, Oasis Wellness Center.

Name: Zeynep
Year: Sophomore
Major: Theatre
Favorite Place to Study: My room
What Powers them Through Studying: A lot of breaks!
Advice for finals: Treat it like any other assignment — you know what works best for you!
Recommended resources: Libguides (major- and class-specific resources), ARTstor (for image searches), Grammarly (for minor mistakes in your essays! It’s just programming, though, so don’t trust it too much).

Name: Brian
Year: Junior
Major: Urban Studies
Favorite Place to Study: I just like to spend my time studying in the library — it’s quiet there. I really like the atmosphere too, it’s not that busy on the upper levels.

Name: Eric
Year: Junior
Major: Sociology
What Powers them Through Studying: Playing some good music
Advice for finals: Never forget to bring something to write with, if your exam is in person.
Recommended resources: Oasis Wellness Center, University Library.

Name: Beth Marcelo
Year: Junior
Major: Marketing
Favorite Place to Study: I usually study indoors, but I’ve started to really like studying outdoors. Just going out there and taking your computer feels good because you’re breathing in the fresh air and it’s [not] a closed environment.
What Powers them Through Studying: If I’ve been studying for a while and I feel myself getting super tired, I give myself a little dance break.
Advice for Finals: Don’t forget to take a break every once in a while.

Name: Ella Perez
Year: Freshman
Major: Journalism, with a concentration in public relations
Favorite Place to Study: The Freudian Sip by Sierra Hall
What Powers them Through Studying: Every bit of studying is a little closer to that degree.
Advice for finals: You’re so close to the finish line. Finals are the sprint to the end.
Recommended resources: University Library (use those study rooms), University Counseling Services, ad Easybib for work citations.

Name: Jayme Ota
Year: Sophomore
Major: Communication Disorders and Sciences, with an emphasis in speech-language pathology and a minor in child and adolescent development
Favorite Place to Study: 3rd floor of the Library
What Powers them Through Studying: Knowing that I am one step closer to my degrees.
Advice for finals: It may feel overwhelming and daunting having to study for all of your classes, but taking care of yourself is just as important.
Recommended resources: Learning Resource Center (LRC) and study groups.

Name: Charlie Rodriguez-Salazar
Year: Senior, transfer
Major: Sociology
Favorite Place to Study: A quiet room with white or brown noise
What Powers them Through Studying: My future ambitions
Advice for finals: Pace yourself. If you take breaks and do it little by little, it’ll feel a lot less stressful and a lot more doable.
Recommended resources: LRC, Oasis Wellness Center, USU study rooms, empty classrooms for studying, and professors’ office hours. Most of the resources I’ve come across come from people I’ve met, so if you can, join a club or an organization!

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