Everyone has a different study pattern and a completely different level of interest in their academics, making friendship and finals a sticky situation.
Handling a friend who distracts you (as unintentional as that may be) can bean explosive situation if it’s not handled well. Here four types of friends that can be distracting and how to deal with them:
A. The One Who Doesn’t Study
If your friend doesn’t study and has no interest in their academics, then chances are he/she may expect you to join in on their shenanigans. If your friend doesn’t get that you need to cram, then try avoiding this friend by studying in the library (especially if this friend is your roommate), telling your friend you have a mandatory paper due (it’s one thing to blow off studying and another to miss an assignment completely) or just flat out avoiding them all together. You can always make amends to your friendship after exams are over!
B. The One Who Procrastinates
A procrastinating friend is complicated because not only do you have to get YOUR studying done, but you need to make sure they do too! If your friend is easily distracted and does the same to you, talk to him/her and explain how they need to study as well!
Suggest a routine for the friend that helps them study and in the end of the day, if their distractions are too much, then tell them politely that you have a hard time focusing once you get distracted and would like a little space during finals or that you’d reach out to him/her when you’re on a break.
C. The One Who Doesn’t Need to Study
There’s always that one friend who doesn’t need to study; he or she absorbs information from classes like a sponge and needs to put forth very little effort to ace exams. It’s easy to get caught up with this kind of a friend because we often rationalize “well he/she aced this exam with 2 hours of studying so I can too” and they may not understand why YOU need to study more than them!
If this is the case, then first try explaining to your friend how you need to study more. If you feel bad about having to admit you need to study a lot more, then just say you have exam anxiety which makes you forget what you learned if you don’t feel prepared.
D. The One Who Is Out to Get You
This is the worst kind of friends. This is the friend that studies on their own time but distracts you in your crunch time. He/she may pretend they don’t study, but they really do, and they may want you to fail. Yes, they may not be a REAL friend, but in a college environment they can easily be someone you can’t avoid and someone you hang out with.
When finals roll around, avoid this person like the plague (especially if you don’t want to get confrontational). Generally speaking, diplomacy won’t get you far with this friend since they are angling to hinder your success.
If avoiding this person doesn’t work, then by all means, get confrontational. A friend like this is one that you don’t need. You can always half-apologize after finals (if you want to)!