I just finished up my last round of final exams and
papers and am now officially on holiday break! It feels amazing to be back
home, with my family and having all my academic work wrapped up!
Reading week and finals week were very interesting
ordeals—a mixture of procrastination heaven and anxious studying—but we all
made through it!
I’ve reflected a bit on what works and what doesn’t
regarding studying for finals and making it out alive. I’m sure next semester
will go much better!
Study buddies: but only in controlled
studying environments. The last thing you want to do is end up taking study
breaks every ten minutes and running over to the dorm next door to debate the
politics of Gossip Girl.
Good food: meals are something that
should not be skimped! Trying to skip dinner to have more time to study only
leads to late-night runs to the local convenience store and impulse shopping.
And besides, it’s never a good idea to study on an empty stomack.
Exercise: no matter how tired or how
stressed, I always made it to the gym. Even just for a quick run, working out
is not only a productive study break, it gets you moving! It boosted my
confidence level and I didn’t feel as bad about finals impulse eating!
Rewards: rewards can come in any
shape or form. Study breaks are good, a quick episode of a favorite television
show, a brief walk, a mindless chat with a suitemate…all-you-can-eat sushi
lunch after your microeconomics midterm? I approve.
Music: music works for some people.
For me, it really depends on my mood. Sometimes I need total silence, other
times I absolutely need something playing in the background. I love listening
to instrumental music, particularly while writing my research papers. A few
favorites: A Charlie Brown Christmas
soundtrack (particularly “Linus and Lucy”!), assorted channels on Pandora,
anything by Eric Saade (he’s very good looking and his music is catchy and
addicting. Don’t be fooled by the lyrics of “Manboy.” My friends and I had it
playing on repeat for quite some time).
What Doesn’t Work:
1. All-nighters: never again will I willingly choose not to sleep the night before a final.
2. Studying in pajamas: it is definitely important to be comfy, but I think
it is essential to change into new clothes for the day and get into the working
mindset. It’s amazing what a pair of jeans and a sweater will do to your
3. Eating only junk food: you’ll only get eater’s remorse. I’ve had my
weaknesses the past couple weeks, but every day there’s a new opportunity to
have an extra glass of water or grab an apple on your way out of the dining
it just gives you a sense that you don’t know anything on the curriculum and that it’s impossible to study
5. Late mornings: as important as it is to get enough sleep, I wish I had realized
early on that it is better to go to bed early and get up early rather than go
to bed late and get up late. The promise of a new day is one of my biggest
motivations—better to start that day at 8 or 9 am rather than 11 or 12.
Hope your school years are going well,
Labels: college, exercise, finals, food, holidays, music, study tips, studying, winter break