Itâ€™s crunch time. We all know what that means. Sure we may still have two weeks of classes until finals week, but those are two weeks of final papers and final projects and last minute quizzes. There is no rest for the student. Itâ€™s sort of cruel, isnâ€™t it, for these three weeks of academic hell to coincide with sunny weather and singing birds and green grass? Because the thought of locking yourself up in a room with books and notebooks for hours on end just isnâ€™t appealing enough already. But seriously people, itâ€™s time to study. Studying can be hard even without summertime temptations, but having dedicated the past few years of my life to the academic cause, Iâ€™d like to think that Iâ€™ve gotten fairly good at it. Allow me to share a couple of tips.
1) Have a checklist. There are few things in life as rewarding as making that little check mark. Whether it be a checklist for the day, or a checklist for the week, or a checklist for how many assignments you have left to complete total, take the time to write it down. Keep it near you, and give yourself a chocolate chip cookie for each check mark, at the very least.
2) Say â€œnoâ€ to ultimate frisbee. Or to Tumblr. Whatever thing youâ€™d rather be doing than studying. The problem with studying is that no matter how determined you are to get it done, itâ€™s not usually what youâ€™d choose to be doing. Which means as soon as someone proposes doing something you actually want to do, it can be hard to say no. But you have to! Iâ€™m not saying that for the next three weeks every student at CSU should lock themselves in their rooms and refuse to interact with any other person. But if you want to study… you have to study! Which means you have to say no to some things â€“â€“ like Netflix. Sometimes it has to be done.
3) That said, you also need to give yourself breaks. Studying for eight hours straight can do terrible things to your mind. So after you get some work done, stand up. Stretch. Go for a walk. Or maybe just watch a funny YouTube video. Whatever it is, make sure itâ€™s a break, meaning you eventually go back to studying. But if youâ€™re spending more time on breaks than on studying… youâ€™re doing it wrong.
So thatâ€™s the studying part down.
Obviously, none of these tips do you much good if you wait â€˜til the last minute to get on that, but mostly weâ€™d like to talk about something that doesnâ€™t suck for our last column.
Anyway, then come the actual exams.
Thereâ€™s lots of tips youâ€™ve heard a million times, like get enough sleep and eat a good breakfast and get there early, and those are all good, I guess. I mean, theyâ€™re probably not something to ignore, and I can attest for the magic of eight hours of sleep.
But here are some other things you might find helpful:
Coffee. Even if you got enough sleep, coffee can give you an edge, and it can make test-taking more fun, if you ask me. If coffeeâ€™s not your thing, the point is caffeine, so maybe tea, Mountain Dew, or even chocolate â€“â€“ something is more your thing. Also, mints might be helpful if you find aftertastes or concerns about your nasty-ass coffee breath distracting.
Taking a shower. This is probably one of those common sense things, but maybe you usually shower at night, or every few days, or once a week. Hell if I know. But showering can wake you up for those red-eye tests that your cruel and wicked teacher assigned early in the morning. (Yeah, Iâ€™m talking to you. I can barely speak English at 7:30 a.m., lady!)
Do what Bayley told you to and study. If youâ€™ve studied already, you feel about a million percent more confident in what youâ€™re doing, and double-guessing yourself usually gets you the wrong answer. Plus, you know, actually knowing the material can do wonders, for some reason.
So yeah. Good luck to everyone on their exams, and those last few weeks that seem even harder. I canâ€™t say I have any tips on doing all those last-minute papers, projects and panics, but at least weâ€™re all in the same boat, I guess.