Notes of Encouragement

by Alex

Welcome to one of the most stressful times of the semester: finals time!


We realize that many of you are currently visiting this blog as a way to take a well-deserved break or to procrastinate from the mountain of work you still need to complete. Either way, The Learning Hub wanted to remind you of five important things to keep in mind for this week:

There is an end in sight.

There is a finite list of things you need to do that will end at the end of the week. Don’t get too bogged down with everything you need to do. Just take it one day at a time. You are almost there, even if it doesn’t seem like it. There is a light at the end of the tunnel. Or a puppy.


This is within your capabilities as a student to complete your final projects.

All semester, you’ve been working toward this week. You know what needs to happen to accomplish the final tasks. All semester, you’ve been growing, and each semester, your capacity to do hard tasks has increased. You are capable of writing that intimidating paper or that really long project even if it doesn’t feel like it.


It’s okay to feel stressed.

Some people may feel that losing sleep or stressing about finals means that they are doing something wrong.


 If you’re one of those people, do your best to remember that it’s ok to feel stressed—nearly everyone is feeling this way. I would just encourage you to try and manage this stress so it doesn’t overtake you. Use stress as a fuel for your projects, but don’t let it consume you.

If you feel like everything has gone wrong—take it as a learning opportunity.

Maybe you didn’t prepare for finals as well as you should have. Maybe you haven’t slept in four days, your computer crashed, and you’ve lost that ten-page paper you now need to redo by tomorrow morning. Sometimes, we don’t go through finals as gracefully as we would like.



Everyone falls down once and a while. Don’t beat yourself up over it—just learn from your mistakes so it doesn’t happen again.

You can do it.


Yes. You can. Don’t argue with us.


And then, after you conquer your finals, we hope you enjoy your break from school.


If you have questions about preparing for finals, please stop by The Learning Hub to learn positive coping and scheduling strategies so you can have a productive finals experience.

Wishing you all the best—

The Learning Hub Writing Staff

7 Study Tips to Get Through Finals Week

by Sidney

Finals week is stressful, but success is possible! With a little planning you can make it through finals in one piece.

Make a list or a visual aid with all the things you have to do

This allows you to break your work into manageable pieces. It can be overwhelming to think about all the things you need to do. Making a list of the steps it takes to accomplish each goal allows you to focus on one thing a time.


Create your own study guide

This helps you take ownership of the information. Putting ideas into your own words helps you commit them to memory because you are thinking about meaning more deeply and using language that makes sense to you.


Study with friends or organize a study group

Being around other people who are also working on tasks can be an effective way to stay focused. If you are studying with other students from a specific class, you can share ideas and help each other better understand the course content.


Set deadlines ahead of your deadlines

If you have a big paper or project due, it can be helpful to set deadlines for yourself so you don’t end up having to pull stressful all-nighters. If you tend to procrastinate try tricking yourself into getting started early by making a “pretend” deadline.


 Find new places to study

A new environment can help you think more clearly. Maybe the local coffee shop provides the right amount of distraction to keep you focused. If you need complete silence try finding the perfect spot in the library to work without distractions.



It can be tempting to focus on the subjects you are best at, but create a balance between subjects that come naturally and ones you find challenging. Sometimes saving your favorite work for last can be motivation to get through work you would rather put off until the end.


Take Breaks

Make sure to build breaks into your study schedule. It is important to reward yourself for hard work. When you have accomplished one or two things on your list allow yourself time to recharge before taking on the next task.


Good Luck!!!

The Five Stages of Finals

by Alex

There have been many lists about the various stages of finals. At The Hub, we decided to make our own Harry Potter-themed list for your nerdy enjoyment.

  1. The Procrastination Phase

When finals begin, some students have a low key sense of confidence—that they can handle finals—that they’re ready and don’t actually need to study. But more often, students underestimate the time it takes to prepare for finals or want to put off studying as long as possible. This is the calm before the storm.


Regardless of your motivations, you should not be deceived. You should be studying. Not sleeping.

  1. Panic Mode

When the procrastination phase ends, it ends abruptly and swiftly. It’s when the realization hits you that you may have much more to do than you anticipated.


Panic comes in stages and in varying degrees. Some students may panic as if they’ve just heard news that there is, in fact, a troll in the dungeon.


Some students even have full on melt downs from too much stress.


We’d much rather you skip this phase and just move onto the next stage.

  1. Productivity

Often fueled by Panic Mode, the productivity stage allows you to take a deep breath, and calm down enough to start getting something done.


Getting to this stage is the most crucial part of succeeding during finals. If you can get through the first two stages, or even skip them all together, you will be in much better shape for your finals. You may not even have to pull all nighters!

  1. Grim Acceptance

There comes a point when you have done all the preparation possible. Sometimes, it may not seem like enough. Thus, we call this phase Grim Acceptance—the stage that allows you to finally stop studying and working and accept what you were able to complete, but it may not bring the relief you were hoping for.

  1. Actual Acceptance

Upon the completion of a final exam or turning in a final paper, actual acceptance arrives—you have done all you can and relief finally starts setting in. You get a spring in your step—a breath of fresh air—new found confidence that you have just conquered your finals.


Are you in any of these stages now? Contact The Learning Hub and see how we can help!



Encouraging Words

It’s finals time. How many of you feel stressed about your impending tests and final projects? Well, The Learning Hub’s writing staff have a few words for you. Turn it on, and try to relax a little bit. Take a brain break for a minute, and then dive back into studying, ready to conquer the semester!

The Learning Hub is still available this week and next week for appointments, and we still have writing walk-in hours. Visit our website, check your campus announcements, or contact us for more information and to make sure you are prepared!

Finals Prep Tips

Are you in the midst of final projects, papers, and tests? The Learning Hub’s Writing Staff has some tips and tricks for you to keep in mind so that you get all the A’s you can! Check out our video below.

We still have appointments available in The Hub. Check out our website for our contact information, and get in touch to see when we can help you.

Walk-in hours in Founders Residence Hall are still happening this week, on Wednesday from 9:00pm to 12:00am in Room 150. Head over there to get some last minute help from Brock and James!

Finals are Coming!


In this video, our Academic Skills TA, Erin, walks you through how to best prepare for finals. How much have you studied? Do you feel prepared? Let us know in the comments!

Hello, my name is Erin Tomasino and I am a graduate student in the Human Development Counseling program here at UIS. My goal is to someday become a school counselor here in the Springfield area. I received my Undergraduate Degree from Eastern Illinois University in Psychology and Criminology. Some of my hobbies include spending time with family and friends, traveling, and going to concerts. I am very excited to be a part of The Learning Hub team and look forward to the opportunity to work with you to enhance your academic skills.

Quote: “Be the change you wish you to see in the world.” – Mahatma Gandhi