How to Survive Finals

by - Wednesday, April 30, 2014

The white sand...the hot sun...cold drink...cute cabana boy.  So close, but yet... so far. The only thing standing between you and this dream are your finals.

After 12 semesters (remind me again why I'm getting a second degree?) I have my finals week survival plan down pat.  Here are 5 tips to make it through the week alive!

1. Start early.  In hindsight, those all nighters I spent with my sorority sisters in the library with gallons of coffee and pounds of snacks were fun, but at the time they were awful.  Do not wait until the last minute!  During the semester I read the textbook and highlighted the important parts that were explained in the lectures.  Then, I take my lecture slides and notes along with my textbook and write out study guides on printer paper.  I made sure every chapter can fit on the front and back of one sheet (even if it means writing really tiny)!  I use these to study for exams during the semester, and come finals time I already have the study guides made!  Just the act of reading through your notes and highlights to make the guide really gets it into your head, so reading them seems like a review.  It makes tackling a comprehensive final way easier!

2. Know if you're a night owl or an early bird.  This might seem obvious, but it isn't always.  For me, I do better at night.  I had some friends that would wake up at 5am before and 11am exam and get 6 solid hours of studying in right before the exam.  That seemed like such a good idea!  Who wouldn't want to take a test after immediately reviewing the material?  But for me?  I got up, dragged myself to the library and gazed half asleep at my computer until I fully woke up around 9.  Not very productive.  Instead, I'd rather stay up until 3 if necessary (which it shouldn't be if I didn't wait until the last minute) and then sleep until 9, and be refreshed for the exam.  Just because all your friends are up early studying (or up late studying) doesn't mean you should be too!

3. Eat well!  Soda and sugary candy seems like all you want when you're crunching for an exam, but I promise your stomach, brain, and grades will thank you for sticking to less sugary options.  Think nuts, sweet bell peppers, fruit, and cheese.  However, I think it's scientifically proven that after an exam wine is very encouraged. :)

4.  Take breaks!  Don't let the stress overwhelm you!  Set a timer for 30 minutes and walk around, check instagram or watch a TV show.  You will focus way better afterwards.  I've found that even scrolling through Pinterest for a few minutes puts me at ease, since I get so look at a bunch of pretty pictures of things that inspire me. 

5.  The self control app.  Seriously. Life changing!  Through this site you can enter certain websites (think Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Blogger) and set the time.  For whatever amount of time you set your browser will not let you on those sites.  It's great for limiting procrastination! 

Once you're done?  Sleep, go for a run, go for drinks, or head to the beach and find that cabana boy! ;)

Written by Robin from Living Colorfully

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  1. I'll have to try that app! It's sounds so helpful! Tomorrow is my last exam! And I'm so ready for it to be over!