It's that time of year again, and sadly, I am not referring to the holiday season. I am referring to a much less exciting time of the year called Finals Week. Having this be my second to last finals week (one thing I am looking forward to be over with) I have come up with some tips that help me make it through and end in success.
- My number one rule is sleep. Don't sacrifice sleep. For example, if I were to have an 8am final, I wouldn't stay up studying. Instead, I would get in as much studying as possible but make myself go to bed before midnight. That way when I wake up I will be refreshed and not sleep deprived.
- Eat! Just because you are studying doesn't mean you don't have time to have breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Even if I find myself living in the library I eat before (think oatmeal/eggs/pita&hummus/turkey sandwich). All of those options have a lot of fiber and protein and are extremely quick and easy to prepare. Also, I keep granola bars, almonds, candy, and crackers) The granola, almonds, and crackers to keep me full, but the candy for something to suck on or for a little sugar rush. My favorite candy is Mike 'n Ikes.
- Coffee, coffee, and more coffee. I like french roast with a sprinkle of Splenda. It's cold right now so this acts as something to keep you warm but also caffeine. I don't think I could do finals week without it! Sometimes as a break or a treat, I grab a pumpkin spice latte or a hot chocolate at Starbucks because we have a huge one right in the library lobby.
- If you have an entry level class with a textbook, your book more than likely comes with some form of online access that has quizzes, virtual flashcards, etc. I know I am in an entry level science course that is required to graduate and our book comes with an online "classroom". The quizzes help me a lot and not only do I learn from taking them but I find out which ones I get wrong and then make an outline for each wrong question. Then, I form a study guide from that. Why waste your time studying everything if you already know a lot. Only focus on what you don't know.
- Study with a friend. For some classes this really isn't an option, but if there is going to be a multiple choice test, buddy up with someone from your class and compare study guides or notes. You might of missed something or need something explained in laymens terms.
- Take breaks! For every hour of studying I give myself a 15 minute break. Sometimes I will do 2 hours of studying if I am really motivated and then give myself a lengthier break. I will watch an episode on Bewiched on DVD, call my mom to chat, read blogs, snack, take a quick nap, etc. for my break.
- Don't Facebook, Pinterest, Tweet, write blog posts, Tumblr. This is a little hypocritical to me considering I am always on social media sites (that is part of my major!) but I try to limit myself-- it only distracts me.
- To get yourself to go to bed at a decent time, stop studying, turn off your computer, phone, tv, etc. and read a book for pleasure. It will interest you and give you something to look forward to at the end of the day. Get cozy in your bed, read for about 15/20 minutes and you will undoubtedly feel more tired and be able to fall asleep.
- Pick out your outfits. Don't wear sweats. I promise you that this works. Being dressed for success will bring you success. Plus wearing sweats makes you want to be lazy and snuggle, not sit at a desk and study. Now I don't mean to wear a dress and heels, although I will admit, I have sported dresses and curled my hair in the past. Being clean and put together will boost your confidence and make you feel more organized. Here are some examples of nicer outfits...