By Jessica Tanner
Finals are almost here. Fortunately, so is Emerie McQuiston, a second-semester student working as a first-year student mentor. While she focuses on mentoring pre-nursing students, especially as they balance Chemistry 285 and Human Anatomy homework, the strategies she gives are universal. So, whether you need some study tips for finals or are looking to do the prerequisites in the coming semesters, this study guide can help you not only survive but thrive in your classes. It may even help you form lasting friendships.
McQuiston had a lot of insight, but she knew that her methods wouldn’t work for everyone. She reached out to friends and classmates to come up with a study guide for her students. “It [is] beneficial to have people that are similar to them but also a ton of different opinions because everyone learns a little bit differently.” Here is what McQuiston and her peers recommend:
Anatomy and Chemistry Survival Guide
I asked some of my classmates what they thought helped them most in Human Anatomy and Chem 285. These classes can be tough, and I thought that it would be beneficial for some to have multiple opinions on how to succeed. I hope you can find something on this list that helps you. You are going to do great this semester!
- (Savage) After class each day, go through your notes and do as much as you can on the problem set. Doing it as you go helps so it’s not as much work at the end, and also gives you the opportunity to ask for help if you need it.
- Block out at least one TA reviews in your schedule. Treat it like another class and try not to miss.
- Form a study group and try to meet at least once a week.
- For study groups, try to find a regular time during the week to hold your meetings. Setting a regular time allows you to be more prepared to contribute and/or come up with questions beforehand.
- Find study groups that you can also be friends with. That way, studying is fun while being productive, rather than just stress.
- There is a walk-in tutorial lab in W151 BNSN. They are open most of the day and there are always TAs to help with homework or studying. Some suggested just doing homework in the lab so you can ask questions as they come up.
- Reach out to your TAs! They are very well qualified to help you. They can bridge the gap between your professor and you.
- Notice how the material is applying in your life. The more you think about it, the more it will stick.
- Teach everyone you can about what you learn: your roommates, your mom, everyone! Repetition is key.
- Regularly schedule time in the lab. Block out your schedule at some point each week.
- Find good study groups as soon as possible.
- Repeat from above but…Find study groups that you can also be friends with. That way, studying is fun while being productive, rather than just stress.
- Focus your study on the learning objectives for lecture.
- For the terms, breaking them down and understand all parts makes them easier to remember.
- Look up pictures online of different body parts you are studying so you can get used to seeing a variety of bodies.
- Go to open lab and study with different students. Finding out how other people study and remember things can be very beneficial.
- When it comes to the final, go through the body head to toe, making sure you know everything.
- Go to at least one weekly review each week.
Of course, don’t feel like you have to do all of things to do well in these classes! Find something that works well for you and stick with it.
McQuiston enjoys being a student mentor. “I love it! I love helping pre-nursing students especially…I feel like it really does make a difference for them,” she says. “I wish that I had someone close to me that I could ask questions [to] about the program before I got in.” She has decided to pay it forward and help others.
One of the best rewards has been the friendships she has made both from student mentoring and her study groups. “I have even connected some of my students together because they are all pre-nursing,” she explains. “And I have students that have formed friendships through that.” Yes, studying hard is important, but why not make friends at the same time? By following McQuiston’s survival guide, you won’t just pass your classes, you will look back on rewarding experiences and life-long friendships.
Good luck with finals everyone!