Monday, May 12, 2014

Is it Summer yet?

I'm definitely not alone in wishing there was any possible way to skip finals week. Unfortunately, the genius idea of "just give me the grade I have and let me leave..." is one that hasn't quite worked in the education system. We do have to be tested on the information that was supposed to be drilled into our brains for the last 16 weeks...for some reason.

That being said, while waiting for my second final of the day, I've chosen to write a blog post. After 9 hours of straight studying at Starbucks on a Sunday, other than acquiring the belief that I deserve stock in Starbucks, my brain is as ready as it possibly can be.

Let's talk about surviving the dreaded "Finals Week" and maybe even touch on a few ways to maintain your sanity...if it's not lost already.

1: Plan Ahead 
The above plan will not work. Try not to leave everything until the last minute! Break up your work into manageable chunks, and give yourself plenty of time to get everything done so that you're not panicking 20 minutes before the exam.

My plan of studying for 9 hours straight yesterday? Yeah. Not a good idea. Talk about a headache...Lesson has definitely been learned...

2: Take regular, scheduled breaks
Seriously. I can't tell you how many times I've told myself I'm going to take a break after the next chapter, but by the time you finish the "chapter" it's 2am and there's no longer time for a break.


Take a break every 2 hours or so, and take it no matter if you've gotten 1 chapters done, or if you've barely turned the page. Do it! Don't look through other notes, don't sit and contemplate your grade, just take a break. 20 minutes of doing nothing finals related then returning to your work is a lot more efficient as a recharge than continuously staring at a computer screen and fighting your personal battery storage more than the one on your laptop...

3: Exercise...even if it's just a little
Everyone is looking at me like I've lost my mind at this moment, but I promise I'm not as crazy as I sound. When studying, all you want to do is cram in as much information of the last 16 weeks as you possibly can. The thing is, if you sit around for that long, imagine trying to sleep when your body is itching to keep moving. Athlete or not, exercise will not only get your mind off of your class schedule (or even let you go over it from memory instead of reading a book!) Even if it's just to go outside for a minute or so, it forces your body to move from one place to another.

Blood does need to get to your brain somehow...


I know. I know. "But I have all night to study!" or "I can't waste study time SLEEPING!!" The thing is, unless you sleep, your memory won't consolidate all that information you just shoved into your brain. When you're sleep deprived, you're less productive. When you're only thinking about how tired you are, there's less room for school information. Repeating that sleep is for the week or how you're a different form of human being that doesn't require sleep is not making it true.

It's only making you look crazy.

Go to sleep. Even if it's only for 3-5 hours. You'll feel a lot better, and you'll do better. Falling asleep on your 100 question test really is not the way to pass...I promise.

6. Don't get caught up in competition
Alright, so there's always that one person who complains about how they have stayed awake for the last 4 days straight on nothing but coffee and skittles making a million-bajillion flash cards.

This is not a challenge.

Do not accept it.

The moment you fall into this problem, you're chugging five-hour energies and buying stock in redbull while making flashcards that aren't even making sense anymore. When 5+4 starts to = Africa...It's time to throw in the towel. You don't need to win the award of "suffered the most while studying"

7. Don't become a recluse.
Do hang out with your friends, but only those who will relax you and help you unwind. If that girl you always see is going to stress you out because she complains the entire time about how freaked out she is about the 3 finals she has tomorrow and she hasn't studied and she lost her phone charger so now she can't talk to her mother who just flew to Australia and might be attacked by rogue kangaroos and then there's her brother who won't shut up and she just needs to lock her self in her room and....

Yeah. You get the picture...They can wait till next week.

8: Don't. Freak. Out. 
Remember when this was the hardest thing you had to do? While I highly doubt any of your finals look like this uncolored butterfly, that's how finals need to be looked at. Grade's are definitely important, but don't lose your sanity over them. Always do your best, that's what really matters!

Good Luck!