finals

How to Conquer College Finals Week

With the semester nearing an end, finals week is quickly approaching! Wait what?! Where has all the time gone? Here is my list of the 3 biggest distractions during finals week and my expert advice on how to conquer them.

finals week - meme

Distraction 1: Your Phone

We all love our phones because they are able to connect us with the world and let us know what’s happening around us at all times. The problem is that with so many social media outlets like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Tumblr, Yik Yak, StumbleUpon to check, it can take hours to get updated. Even games on your phone are a terrible idea during finals week, you might as well say good bye to that G.P.A. if you have any games like Tetris on your phone.

finals week Tetris

HOW TO CONQUER:  Get a friend to change your passwords during finals week! Make them promise not to tell you the passwords until after finals, not matter how many times you beg. This way after finals you can take as long as you like to get caught up on life. You should also check out the eCampus.com social media sites for coupons, contests and blog posts for college students. 

Distraction 2: Your Friends

Friends or “study buddies” are great to hang out with when you have nothing to do. In fact, they are a ton of fun… but maybe not the best influencers during finals week. You always have that one friend who only has one easy final so they become the biggest distraction you could imagine.

finals week minions

HOW TO CONQUER: The best strategy for this is to start studying early and give yourself enough time to do what you have to do. Take some time for yourself to get the majority of your work and studying done ALONE. Afterward, you can meet up with your friends to take a break at Starbucks.

Distraction 3: The Internet

Without social media on your phone,  you now have your study breaks with friends under control. However, the one thing harder to avoid is the World Wide Web. It’s always so tempting to get on YouTube and watch goofy cat videos for hours. This one below is hilarious but definitely not what you need during finals week.

 

HOW TO CONQUER: Approach looking up random websites, online shopping and watching funny videos by a reward system. You study for 3 hours and then you get rewarded with an hour internet break. This way you’ll be able to get through your studying much faster but don’t forget to retain the information otherwise this reward system doesn’t work.

HAPPY FINALS WEEK. MAY THE GRADES BE EVER IN YOUR FAVOR.

Final Grades: Damage Control

The last few weeks of class can often be the hardest. You get a little antsy and count down the days until summer, or graduation… or both! The tricky part becomes balancing the books and your strong desire to just be done already. You can’t lose focus because although it may be hard to believe, your grades keep counting—right until the end! You don’t want to be stuck with less than desirable letters to stick on the fridge.

Your final grade report can go one of a few ways. If you work hard and keep on track, your final set of scores will leave a smile on your face. Good for you. Good grades in college, especially in the spring semester, are not an easy feat. Enjoy your few months off and rest up for next semester. Good grades are great, but getting them consistently is even better.

Now maybe you worked hard, but spring fever got the best of you. Not to worry. If you aren’t 100% pleased with the way your final report looks, take time to reflect. Did you turn everything in? Did you complete all of your assignments? Still not happy? Maybe it’s time to talk to your professor. There is no harm in asking for guidance on how to do better next time!

Just because you didn’t finish out the semester with the grades you wanted doesn’t mean you have to let it ruin your summer. Now is the time to think about your habits and academic behaviors. Were the grades really that big of a surprise, or could you have seen them coming? They don’t have to be a GPA death sentence, but you might want to consider turning this batch of grades into a wake up call.

How many semesters do you have left? What actions are you willing to take to catch up?

If this was your senior year, your options may be limited. However, not to worry. You graduated. You made it! Pat yourself on the back. The real world focuses on more than just grades and GPA. Just keep growing and evolving yourself to make up for any spring fever slack that shows up on that last semester transcript!

If you’re a junior, you can breathe. You have two semesters left to make a difference. Take these last courses seriously and go out with a bang! Make sure to utilize all of your school resources. Most campuses have tutoring centers, or writing centers. Have these offices check your papers, or spruce up your assignments to ensure you gain the most points. Every little bit helps!

Sophomores, you have half of your college career left so spend it wisely. Think about the last two years and examine what worked and what methods need a little tuning up. You have time to switch majors, retake courses, or dabble in something new! Don’t give up! Take your time and make sure you are doing what is best for you—and your transcript!

To the outgoing freshmen—you made it through your first year! Was it all you hoped for and expected? Hopefully you made the adjustment. If not, take notes. You have three years to make up for any little blips on your record. That’s what freshman year is for—trying new things, and messing up a few times! We all went through it, and we all made it out alive! So will you!

To the incoming freshmen: This is your time! Buckle up for this upcoming ride. You will do great, just remember—school comes first. Don’t get lost in the excitement of the first couple of months. College is amazing and you should definitely have fun, however make sure you take note of where the library is! (And not just to show to your parents on tours either! Actually use it!)

– Ring Queen

Time to Relax: Dead Week

photo via clog.dailycal.org

Finals are almost here and the last thing anyone wants to do is study (ew). The sound of studying just makes you want to curl up into a ball or go hide. The good news is campuses have a few ways to escape the studying and take a break. The activities are all across campus and they start during the most bittersweet week of the year, DEAD WEEK. No tests, no homework, just studying (ew again). Start looking around for these breaks and take note of them; you might just want to check them out. A few things that could be happening around your campus:

  • PAWS for stress relief- with this you can take a break from studying and go play with service puppies! I know I’d want to spend an afternoon meeting new friends.
  • A lot of places around campus might have a “chill” day or a “kick-back” day where you can just take the afternoon off and go eat free food, play games and possibly when door prizes! Look at the library, alumni groups, activities boards or any kind of campus group and I’m sure you will find something! And most of the time there is one everyday a week, so just make you rounds!
  • Often campuses offer Massage on the go (MOTG) where you can enjoy a free 5 minute massage to take the stress off. I mean, who wouldn’t want that?
  • Another thing to look out for is a student-teacher-student reception. This is an exhibition of a lot of different artwork done by the students on campus. Take a break from the stress and go check it out. Plus, there is almost always free food and I know that’s what everyone wants.

Start looking around your campus and see what you can do procrastinate from studying for finals! There are a lot of fun things to do, if you just find the right ones. Go out and get your freebies so you can stop stressing about finals. Good luck!

This is a guest post from our Internet Marketing Intern Haeli. Many thanks to her! 

How to Deal with Sleep Deprivation During Finals

Finals week, the week that students dread every semester from the time the syllabus is handed out. The week you live inside your textbooks and your viciously scrambled notes/handouts. While there isn’t much you can do about what your schedule during that week, there are a few things that you can do to help prepare yourself for this very stressful period of time when most people’s veins are full of coffee, red bull, 5 hour energy, and whatever else they need to keep their system running until that last test is handed in.

As a college student, if you haven’t pulled an all-nighter yet you are incredibly prepared, taking some easy classes, or you have no social life. Sleep deprivation is something that most college students will eventually encounter, and you will have to figure out a way to deal with it one way or another. Here are tips and suggestions for those who may not be getting their full 8 hours of sleep.

1. Sleep well 2 nights before a big exam. Studies have shown that getting decent sleep the night before an exam is not nearly as crucial as getting a good night’s sleep 2 nights before the exam. For example, if your test is on a Wednesday, make sure you sleep well on Monday night. Believe me, this is one of the best tips I’ve ever used and it helps tremendously.

2. Take study breaks. Cramming is not ideal when it comes to studying, especially for finals, but there are some times where you just don’t have a choice. If you have to cram the night before a final make sure to take study breaks to get your mind off of the subject matter.  Whether it is grabbing some food, playing the new Modern Warfare 3, or going for a jog make sure to take breaks. By studying the subject matter in blocks you more likely to retain the information and be able to understand a larger volume of information than you would think you could.

3. Manage your time based on your schedule. If you’ve got your tests spread out over the week, take time to recognize which tests are the most important. This way you know which nights you will need to stay up late to focus in on that chapter that you didn’t understand. Try to plan a block of extended time that you can head to the library and study.

4. Eat healthy and consistently. The last thing you want to do when staying awake long nights is eat candy and skip meals. Try to keep and maintain a healthy diet, as your body probably needs it the most with all of the stress, anxiety, and sleep deprivation. For snacks, you should consider yogurt, whole grain cereal, trail mix, or an apple.

5. Only use energy drinks/sodas/coffee when necessary. As a rule of thumb, I will not drink anything caffeinated after 5pm, and I will not drink more than 2 energy drinks a day. Try to stick with foods and drinks that have a natural energy boost in them so that your body is not out of whack when you are ready to finally get some sleep. Eat an apple instead of drinking coffee, or head over to Jamba Juice or Smoothie King and grab a shake.

6. Foods/drinks to help enhance sleep. When you are finally ready to go to bed, there are some foods/drinks that will naturally help you get in the mood to rest well and be ready to take on any exam. I know it may sound a little strange, but try eating breakfast foods right before you head to bed. Grab a banana, drink a large glass of milk, eggs, oatmeal, hummus and bread, turkey, etc. These foods contain certain amino acids that help produce melatonin, and also ones that have tryptophan in them. These are very helpful when trying to get some rest.

7. Exercise regularly.  Since you are depriving yourself of sleep there are some repercussions that will affect the way you go about your day. By exercising, you will help your body stay well-oiled and fully functional. The last thing you want is to get sick during your finals.

Study on!

 

Willhelm

I’m reading Economics: Principles, Problems, and Policies


Tips for reducing stress during finals week

 

I don’t know how hectic your school schedule is, but it’s getting close to finals week for me. Finals are a time of the year when a student will either sink or swim. Over the past 3 years, I have done both. However, in that time I’ve learned ways to get through finals week without jamming a power drill in my forehead. And because you’re such a beautiful audience, I will share the ages old secrets with you all. Just hide your power drill and follow these guidelines, and you should be golden.

1. Create a schedule for studying.

Do this as soon as you figure out when your finals will be. It will save you from the trap of having 3 finals and one day to study for all of them. Some teachers will let you reschedule finals if you have this many, but you should always stay on top of this yourself. Create a schedule of the entire week, giving your most important finals priority over ones that may be easier or not matter quite as much.

2. Are your friends done with finals? Are they partying? Forget about them!

Most of us have been in the position where we have 1 or 2 more finals to go, and some (or all) of our friends are done with theirs. Nobody wants to be stuck in the library all night while their friends are at the bar partying harder than David Hasselhoff. You have to get in the zone, find a quiet place to study, and do work. There is plenty of time to party on the weekends.

3. Make sure to get a decent amount of sleep.

This is hard for me, being one of those people who is attempting to go to sleep at 3am everyday. What I do is try to stay at the library until 30 minutes before I plan to go to bed. When it’s time to sleep, don’t watch TV, play on the Internet (unless you’re ordering from eCampus.com’s NEW college clothing store), or play video games. You want everything you just learned to remain fresh in your brain.

4. Know your best strategies.

We all have our own ways of studying. Do what works for you. What I do is create a study guide, hand-write it all, study note cards, then try to write everything I know off the top of my head. After that it’s rinse and repeat until I feel confident (or I have to leave the library because some freshman is blabbering on about someone’s Facebook status for an hour).

5. Study groups – split up the work, and get to work.

Try this whenever possible. Mention that you’re trying to organize a study group a day or two before your final. Break down the study guide into sections and have everybody do a section. This will complete the study guide in no time. Then you can move on to your own strategies, with or without the group.

6. Find a song that helps you deal with the stress.

Finals week are no doubt the most stressful part of college. Don’t let the stress take control. Find a song that will calm you down or one that reminds you of home. I like Bob Marley- Everything is gonna be alright. It takes me to my happy place. Between that and the thought of being home for the holidays, my stress almost seems worth it.

7. Have a reward waiting for you at home.

I like to save one of my favorite beers for the moment I finish studying. It helps me knowing that I have something to look forward to after the 8-hour study sessions. Be sure to buy it before you start studying. Why? Last night I was at the library from 8 pm to 2:30am. It just so happens that bars close and alcohol sales stop at 2:30 here.

8. Keep some candy or fruit snacks in your backpack.

This is a good way to momentarily take your mind off of things when feeling restless. When you start to feel the stress or fatigue, eat some sour gummy worms. 60 seconds later you will realize that you need to get back to reality, but for those 60 seconds, your brain is thinking happy thoughts.

Final note: I hope that these tips help you make solid studying decisions. Give it your best and let your brain do the rest. When the smoke clears, you will survive finals week.

Alabaster

I’m reading Living Religions