7 Things You Absolutely Need to Survive Finals

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Ugh. Finals week. You may not be able to hear it, but we’re screaming on the inside, just like you. This is the lead-up to the absolute worst part of the year.

But Finals don’t have to make us a big ball of anxiety. The best way to ace them all is by going in prepared. Studying, of course, is key, but so are these seven essentials you’ll need to survive Finals Week. Here are the things we’re counting on to get us through:

 

  1. A Refillable Water Bottle

Why did it take us so long to realize that water is really magical and restorative? It makes our skin glow, helps maintain weight, and wakes us up when caffeine won’t do the trick. Water is also the perfect study partner as drinking the right amount (divide your body weight in half and drink that in ounces), makes you both more alert and improves your memory.

  1. Awesome Treats

Healthy snacks with loads of protein are an absolutely essential part of keeping our brains focused. Think nuts and berries or granola bars and protein packs. But of course, we’re also sneaking in some snack time too. After all that studying, we deserve a break to munch on some goodies from a Finals Week care package.

  1. Perfect Pillow

Sleep is a must. While we might be tempted to pull an all-nighter or two, studies have shown that a lack of sleep can actually hurt come test day. Being tired means less focus and a higher chance of forgetting basic facts and figures. Increasing sleep time is essential, so we plan on making our bed an oasis with high-quality pillows, bed linens, face masks, sound machines, and maybe even a pair of noise canceling headphones.

  1. Extra Supplies

Hello highlighters! You’re are our new best friend for the week. Add in pencils, extra batteries for our graphing calculator, supplies for the art portfolio, sticky notes, and flashcards… woah. Our office supplies run just went crazy, but it’s all worth it to have everything we need at our fingertips for long, intense study sessions.

  1. Ultimate Study Spot

Where you study matters just as much as how long you study. The library is always a good choice just because of the regulated silence. But the library is often a central location, and we prefer to not be distracted by a friend or a crush. Instead, take your studying outdoors, when possible. The sunlight can help you stay awake and fresh air can change up your mood.

  1. Support System

If your friends and family don’t already know, make sure you tell them you’re gearing up for finals week. Have a friend call every other day to check in on you and motivate you to keep going. Let mom and dad know you might not be reachable. And ask them to keep conversations light and fun instead of harp on you about exams and grades. The less stress you have from your inner circle, the better.

  1. Empty Social Calendar

The support system rule also applies to your friends on campus. While your bestie may be riding high with a 4.0 average and no worries for their finals, you can’t let them get in the way of the work you need to do. Clear your calendar, cancel your fraternity functions, and turn your phone on “do not disturb.” You’ll survive for a week while you gear up to rock your final exams.

7 Tips on Studying for Finals

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Are you overwhelmed by how many Spanish terms you have to study for? Maybe cramming a day before your next project is due or rereading the same chapter multiple times to no avail? I know I am stressing right before finals. If you’re also feeling overwhelmed by a huge pile of books, notecards and Red Bull, keep reading for some helpful tips to study for this upcoming finals week!

1. DO NOT WAIT UNTIL THE LAST MINUTE- Start studying like I did at least a week before.


2. MAKE FLASHCARDS– Whether it’s Spanish, French, the Revolutionary War, or learning about muscles, make flash cards…It will make your life 10 times easier

3. QUIZLET– If flashcards aren’t your thing, try online websites such as Quizlet, which can give you tests, flip flash cards for you or give you a few learning games!

4. MAKE AN EFFORT-I know sitting in the library from 10 am until 4 o’clock is rough, but try and do it because is the last week…make it count.

5. HAVE A STUDY BUDDY- Whether it is your best friend, classmate or big in your sorority, sit down with them and do homework together. The two of you can take a break, but they can also tell you when to get back to work and when you have been on your phone too long!


6. IT’S OKAY TO TAKE A BREAK- It’s not okay to binge watch Netflix, but a ten-minute break here and then won’t kill you.
7. MAKE THE LIBRARY YOUR BEST FRIEND- Library, School of Business, Engineering Building; whatever it is, get comfy because that just became your new home for the next week.
Hope you use these helpful tips!!! Good luck with finals everyone!!!!

How to Hit the Ground Running in January

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Let’s just start off with: you’re right.  You do deserve a break.  Well, you will, depending on whether you’ve finished your finals yet or not.  You might have believed that you were all caught up, but then you found out that your physics final is graded on a curve, so now you’re freaking out… Or maybe you knew these couple weeks would suck all along.  Either way, this is a particularly stressful period.

Unfortunately, you’re probably responding to that stress in a not-so-healthy way.  The cycle of staying up late and struggling to get out of bed for class, let alone the gym, has a way of perpetuating itself all the way until Holiday Break.  And while exercise is a great way to relieve stress and work off those study break snacks, let’s be honest: you’ve probably skipped a couple days at the gym.  Which isn’t so bad, but when coupled with the fact that lack of sleep makes you eat more and the upcoming holidays, December can be tough on your fitness goals.  It’s okay, you’ll pick it up again next semester, right?

That’s certainly possible, but you don’t want to a part of the New Year’s Resolution crowd that works out intermittently for a month and then are never seen at the rec center again.  It can be all too easy to put off starting a fitness regimen or to let it fall by the wayside.  So, while yes, you do deserve a break, you should also be prepared to start a new routine come next semester and stick to it.

What Do You Want to Improve?

The best workouts will involve your entire body, including flexibility, coordination, and strength.  By practicing a variety of skills, you’ll lower your risk of injury and maximize performance.  However, you can still focus on something specific that you’d like to improve.  If you don’t like your arms, can’t touch your toes, or would like to lose some weight after the holidays, you should cater to your fitness goals.  Just don’t neglect every other muscle group.

Write it Down!

It’s no secret anymore that writing down goals makes achieving them more likely.  It might feel stupid or childish, but it really does work.  Even if you’re self-conscious, you can write them down in a private place– just make sure that it’s somewhere you see frequently (a planner, a note taped in your closet, in your phone, etc.) That way, it will remind you of your goal and solidify your commitment.

Additionally, writing down your goals will force you to be specific.  You might think, “I want to gain muscle,” but when you start writing it down you realize that there are a lot of specifics to consider.  By when?  How much?  Are you willing to make the sacrifices necessary to reach your goal in time?  And, most importantly, is your goal realistic and healthy?

Account for Real Life

Realize that you’re not going to be perfect.  There’s going to be friends’ birthdays, emergency assignments, and other things that you can’t control.  You might miss a couple of workouts.  The important thing is that you don’t let that derail you overall.  You can also minimize the impact of these distractions by planning ahead.

  • Know the exact routine that you’re going to do at the gym so you don’t waste time in between machines.

  • If you have an early morning class, set out your clothes and backpack the night before, so you can minimize excuses to miss your morning workout.

  • Plan out your meals so that you can hold yourself accountable for your nutrition goals.  No more easy hamburgers in the dining hall when you’re rushing between classes or meetings, because you planned ahead!

  • Encourage your friends to join you.  That way,  you don’t have to choose between socializing and working out!

There’s going to be obstacles blocking every goal.  That’s why you haven’t completed it yet!  But with some careful planning and motivation, your New Year’s resolution can become an All-Year resolution.  For now, focus on your finals, enjoy the holidays, and come back next semester ready to achieve.

 

The Only Way to Survive Finals Week

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Whether you just finished your finals or are still in the middle of it, finals week never seems to get any easier as the years go by. However, you do find little things you can do here and there to make the process just a little more bearable for yourself. That being said, here are the five MUST DO things to get you through finals week!

1.) Keep your first aid kit on hand.

No, I don’t think you should be expecting to sprain an ankle anytime soon. But it’s never a bad idea to keep some Emergen-C, Ibuprofen, and cold medicine on hand! It’s the time of year that everyone is run down and spreading around their plagues. Fight it and stay alert and healthy for all those exams!

2.) Don’t pull all-nighters studying.

You might not want to stop when you’re on a roll with those flash cards into the late hours of the evening, but there comes a point when your body and mind are much better off getting some rest and restoring for the next day. You might feel like you’re getting a lot done by powering through the night, but it’s not worth it to be completely useless the next day as a result.

3.) Plan out your week. don't even have a pla gif

With no classes going on, your schedule might feel pretty skewed for the week. It’s important to make sure you’re mapping out what you need to get done each day to avoid getting off track or wasting time.

4.) Find your spot. reading donnie darko

An optimal study spot is key to your productivity during finals week. Finding a spot that’s crowd-free, quiet, and isolated from other goings-on about campus is crucial. This will keep you focused on the tasks at hand and prevent distraction and temptation.

5.) Take a break.

What might be even more important than studying itself is knowing to take a break every now and then. Every few hours or so, make sure you’re getting up, moving around, and redirecting your mind to something else for a bit. You’ll avoid burnout and you’ll be able to return to studying afterward with new motivation and a clear head.

How do you get through finals week? Best of luck to all, and to all a fantastic summer break!