I’d like to think that after 7+ years of college, that I am pretty experienced in the whole how-to-survive-college field. Does that mean that I haven’t gone through some days, weeks, or semesters kicking and screaming? Hell no. It just means that I am here, I survived, and you will too.
In honor of my last-ever finals week, I have pondered the thought of creating a list of ways to survive finals week. After some deliberation, I decided to myself, “why the hell not?!” So, without further ado, here it is. Kick some ass, y’all.
- Find your study spot. This is, by far, the most important item on this list. Whether it is in an eerily silent library, a Starbucks full of hustle and bustle, or alone on your couch in your basement, find what works for you. If you and your pals have differing preferences, maybe it’s best to study without them. I will admit, I did learn this the hard way! I promise, what works best for you will give you the best, and most promising, results.
- Take a break. Cramming for 36 hours straight with no sleep, gallons of caffeine, and little time to breathe will not give you the best results. Everyone needs to stop and take a breath every once in a while. So, do it. Take a step back from that book. Go for a walk. Take a drink of water. You got this.
- Sleep well. I have lived both lives: the life of an all-nighter and the life of a good night’s rest. And, let me tell you, the nights I got some sleep, not only did my grades improve dramatically, but my happiness skyrocketed as well. Sleeping gives your brain the downtime it deserves. Walking into an exam with an over-tired, dazed mind will do you no good. Do yourself a favor, lay your head on that pillow.
- Eat healthy. Sure, McDonalds is the most convient meal when it is 1am and you are starving in the library. Is it the best thing for you at that specific time? Absolutely not! Your body is fueled by nutritious, energizing foods that keep you going instead of weighing you down. Pack some fruits and veggies, and skip the fries.
- Workout. Go for a walk. Go for a run. Punch a punching bag while imagining it is your professor who unfairly gave you way too much information to study [just kidding]. But, really. Getting some exercise will not only make you feel great, but it will improve your efficiency when you go back to hitting the books.
- Visit your professor. There is no such thing as a stupid question. Cliché? Yes. But a question that is hanging over your head, no matter how big or how small, can be answered through conversation and insight on the final exam. Don’t have the means to visit during office hours? Shoot your professor an email. Plus, asking questions will show the effort you are putting in and how much you care about acing this test! Can you say brownie points?
- Realize that finals week is only a week, and it will end. There is always and forever light at the end of the tunnel. This week is, without a doubt, the hardest, longest, and most stressful week of any semester of any year of college that you will ever experience. However, the feeling you get once the week is over is unlike any other. Keep on keepin’ on. You got this!
If you are a college student, have been to college once or twice, or know all things college in general, welcome to a survival guide for us kids finally getting into the swing of the semester.
DISCLAIMER: Yes, I am 24 years old and a grad student. Yes, I still struggle to get that motivational push once the semester starts, even 12 semesters later.
- Organize every aspect of your life. This could not be any more essential. Let me tell you a little bit about me, here. My entire life needs to be organized. Without organization, I am a failure. I crash and burn. And let me tell you, it is worth the extra time to sit down and organize everything into your calendar, your planner, your Google Docs drive, whatever it may be. Why stress over something so little a few weeks down the line when you can have everything laid out and ready to go now? Three weeks from now, stress over that term paper, girl. Not your planner organization.
- Read the textbooks. If you haven’t figured it out by now, almost 99% of the time reading the assigned chapters in your textbooks [or journal articles, or PowerPoints, or whatever your professor assigned to you] will actually help you. I know, it seems like I am a mom relaying this information to you, but I can tell you from personal experience that 9 times out of 10, when I actually took the time to read, my grades reflected this extra effort!
- Do laundry on party nights. My brother learned the importance of this little trick real quick. Are you sick of seeing that dirty laundry pile build up? Sometimes it is worth the sacrifice to skip the party and take the time to do your laundry when literally nobody else is around. Any night between Thursday and Saturday, every college student is out on the town, this is no secret. So, it only makes sense that the more people that are out, the more washers and dryers are available! [And the less likely your clothes are to end up on the top of the washer!].
- You will end up eating the extra food your Mom packed for your dorm room. Chances are, when you moved into your dorm room, you rolled your eyes at your mother for bringing an insane amount of food and snacks to keep in your room. I will admit, I was totally guilty of this when I lived on campus. However, it was about this time of the semester when I started getting sick of eating the same food over and over again. All of a sudden, Mom is your hero! In fact, [I know, another connection to my brother], my brother just texted me last night thanking me for pushing him to buy some EasyMac for his dorm, because he needed to eat something different and was getting sick of the same routine. It’s okay to need this change, everyone does.
- Your grades will get better. By now, it is more likely than not that you’ve had your first college exam. *yikes* In the days leading up to the exam, you were probably stressed out of your mind, studying like a mad-man, and ended up not getting quite as good of a grade as you thought you would. And you know what? Not only is that normal, but it is okay! The first test in every single class will most likely be your lowest test grade of the semester. You are still trying to get a feel of the professor, the exam layouts, and what is expected of you. Once that first exam comes and goes, you will feel like a pro. You will now know what to expect, and you will go into the next exam ready to take it down. Things get better, don’t worry.
If you made it through this blog post, totally feeling like you can relate to anything I just said, welcome to the college club! Take what you’ve read, take what you’ve learned, and run with it! The future’s yours!
What are some tips you can give to us college kids out here? xoxo.
Today’s day consisted of bringing this 12-seated beauty into our lives to pack up my brothers room and send him off to college. Right now, it’s about 10:30PM, making it only 7 hours until we are en route to Akron, Ohio. Packing up this beauty is undoubtedly the easy part of this journey, but I am so excited. Both for him, and for the fact that I will finally be seeing this campus for the first time tomorrow [my family has been there 4x already, but sadly, I was at work].
Onward and upward. Here we go. xoxo.