To the Student That Needs to Hear This,
You are more than your grades.
You are more than a final.
One bad semester, one bad test, one bad day, is not going to define you.
With that being said though, do your best. Try your hardest. I know you are tired and frustrated. I know how hard college is. Everything seems to wait for finals season to explode on us. From work to school to friends and family and everything in between, they just have to implode the days and weeks before finals.
You have to focus.
Try to push away all of the outside noise, even if it is only for a few hours out of the day. Lock your self in your room, throw your phone at the bottom of your laundry basket, and get to work studying. Or if that doesn't work for you go to a local coffee shop or park or whatever else and study. Find what works for you and give it all you have. Even if it is for only a short period of time, any studying is good studying. Give it your full attention though, this is crunch time. Netflix and your significant other will still be around after finals. If you have a major test on a day you work, ask for the night before off to study. It seems insignificant, but those few hours could be a game changer. Or they could just be the little bit of peace you need the night before a test.
Break it down.
Get funky. Break it down, have a few dance parties. Do make sure that you take time for yourself, but also break down how you study. Don't cram in all into one night, it's just going to hurt your more in the long run. Even if it is just two nights before, try halving what you need to study. Rewrite notes one night and then spend the next night reading them out loud. Actively studying is so much more effective than just staring at a sheet of paper for six hours.
Know Your Limits
Most importantly, know your limits. Just because you were a straight-A student in high school does not mean you will be one in college, which is totally okay. Sometimes all of the studying in the world just isn't enough. There will always be that one question you weren't expecting. Or maybe you lost a piece of the study guide and did not realize it. And sometimes even studying for days ahead just doesn't help. It goes like that sometimes, especially in college.
No matter what your parents, aunts and uncles, next door neighbor or whoever else might say, all that is okay. College is a lot different than when most of them were in college. College is not easy. It's a lot of trial and error. You find out what works, only to realize that it might not work that way the next semester. You get professors who are impossible. You miss class the day the test question is discussed. That's college.
So just know, you're going to be okay. I'm proud of you, and so are so many others. You're doing the damn thing, and that's a lot more than most. So enjoy the little victories and the big ones, and when trials come along face them head-on.