Finals Week Survival Tips

With the end of the semester quickly approaching and summer being so close on the horizon, there is only one thing separating you from a nice beach vacation. That is finals week! As a senior in college I have successfully survived several finals weeks! I remember how stressed and crazy I would get as a freshman, and although the finals don’t get easier your techniques will become more efficient. A few helpful tips may make your finals week a bit better!

Time Management:

This ultimately goes back to my Tips to Get Organization: Planner Edition post! Write down your due dates and exam dates at the beginning of the semester so you can plan your studying in advance! I know the overwhelming feeling of having 4 projects and like 890 assignments due during the same week, but sitting down and planning them out helps a lot!

So, make yourself a plan, and stick to it! I like color coding and hand writing it because that helps me remember things better!

Drink Cold Water:

Staying up late and cramming for an exam the next day is something every college student has experienced. However, they all make the mistake of pounding caffeine like coffee and energy drinks. Its scientifically proven drinking ice water will keep you awake longer than coffee. Plus, water is a lot healthier for you than caffeine and it will clear up your skin.

Put down the Red Bull and pick up Ice Water, your skin will thank you.

Pavlovian Conditioning:

When I was younger I had a hard time sitting still for a long enough period of time to focus and get homework done. Then in the sixth grade I learned about Pavlov’s Dogs theory and it got me thinking. If you are unfamiliar with the Pavlovian Conditioning theory, it’s essentially an experiment conducted by Russian physiologist, Pavlov, where he would ring a bell every time he fed a dog and overtime the dog began to associate the bell with food. So even when food was not present the dog would begin to salivate at the sound of the bell, essentially the bell sound was ‘hard wired’ into the dog’s brain.

I began to think if that worked with dogs could it help my brain focus more? So I would play the same song before I did homework and it became sort of a homework anthem for me. Not only did it force me to finish all my homework in one sitting, it reinforced my concentration. Still to this day if I am having a hard time concentrating I will play that song to help myself focus.

What was the song? Being the sweet, innocent sixth grader I was and not fully understanding the concept of this musical it was Science Fiction – Double Feature by Richard O’Brien from Rocky Horror Picture Show.

Dance Breaks:

I also find it helpful to have mini dance parties during those long nights of cramming. This is something I started doing with my Calculus Study group, every hour we would stop studying and dance in the silliest ways possible then go right back to studying. It’s a good way to break up long hours of math equations!

Study Groups:

Study Groups will help you sooooo much! I have always been very confident in my studying abilities and used to think studying with others would throw me off or distract me. But it has honestly been a lifesaver, I cannot say how many times I thought I completely understood something only to find out I was missing a major portion. Plus teaching or helping others understand a topic in turn helps you understand it better as well.

Good Luck on your Exams!!

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