Finals Week

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 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.


Best Foods to Eat Before Cramming For Finals

Healthy Eating PlateFinals Week is right around the corner, meaning you better rest up now and mentally prepare yourself for what lies ahead. Those of us who have been through this before all have our own rituals for Finals. Some are effective, some are questionable, and others are downright creepy. A couple of years back I had a classmate who swore that if he studied for an exam with his shoes on, he would fail. One of my rituals is to try to eat healthy during finals week. I think it’s a good way to keep your brain at 100% while giving your body an extra boost to make up for the erratic sleeping habits, added stress, etc. Finals week can be a very difficult time to eat healthy because of time constraints, but don’t give up! Try some of these easy meal options and foods that boost brain function.

Easy (but still healthy) Meal Options:

  1. Apples and Peanut Butter
  2. Carrots and Ranch
  3. Tuna
  4. PB&J
  5. Protein Bars

Foods that Boost Brain Function:

  1. Salmon is high in Omega-3 fatty acids, which plays a vital role in brain function.
  2. Blueberries are well-known to boost brain function. Studies have shown that the berries can significantly improve learning capacity and motor skills in rats.
  3. Nuts like Almonds and Walnuts will help because of their Omega-3 and Vitamin E. Vitamin E helps stop the decline in cognitive development as you get older.
  4. Whole Grains contain fiber, Vitamin E, and Omega-3 fatty acids. They help blood flow, which is good for your entire body.
  5. Eggs are high in Choline, which can help improve memory functions.
  6. Avocados are high in fat, however it’s monounsaturated fat (aka “good” fat). “Good” fat is a major contributor of a healthy blood flow. Healthy blood flow is essential to healthy brain function.
  7. Beans are a lesser known brain boosting food, however they are great for stabilizing glucose levels. The brain uses glucose as fuel, as you can see why this would be important. Lentils and black beans are the best in the category. Warning: do not overdo it on beans, especially if you plan on studying in a public place. Trust me.
  8. Dark Chocolate is actually very healthy for your brain. It contains antioxidant properties, which helps the brain deal with free radicals. Free Radicals can have damaging effects on the brain. Use dark chocolate in moderation, because it’s loaded with fat and caffeine.
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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!



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Get Into Gear For Finals!

Yet again the year is winding down for many college students. Some of the most dreaded school days come at the end of each semester, FINAL EXAMS. Below are some things to keep in mind and tips to try when studying!

-Get sleep!
-Keep away from Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, etc.
-Stay organized
-Try using flashcards- many students find the use of flashcards extremely helpful and easy to challenge yourself on knowing the material.
-Know when to say no- if you NEED to study, don’t let the invite to get dinner with your friends override your decision to study!
-Try to study at a desk or table, not your bed or the couch
-Remain calm, no need to freak out, it’s just a test
-Keep your goals in mind
-Try making a studying checklist
-Problems staying awake?- If you have the ability to change the temperature in your room, house, etc. lower the temperature. The cooler air has been known to keep you awake rather than warmer air.
-Don’t forget to eat properly
-If you are given an outline you should USE IT!
-Don’t lose your motivation!
-Try studying with a friend! However, REMEMBER THAT STUDYING IS YOUR MAIN GOAL!

If you have any tips for your fellow student share them in the comment box!! I hope these help all of you!

With love,
Kat VonD

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