Here we are again, undergrads! Winter Break is just around the corner. Here's a round up of tips on how to show those finals who is boss!
Eat right. Start your day off with a healthy, balanced breakfast. Repeat the nutritional meal for lunch and supper as well. You may be short on time, but Dead Week and Finals Week are no time to skip out on eating or gorge yourself with fast food. Keep healthy snacks on hand, too, to curb hunger. Granola, fruit, and nuts will keep the vending machine at bay. Treat your body well!
Ditch distracting websites. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, your blog reader, and (of course) LovelyUndergrad.com are addictive, distracting sites at all times of the year. But aren't they oh-so-much-more tempting during exam time? Abstinence may not be the answer. If you ban yourself from these sites all day long, it can backfire. You may spend more time wondering what's happening on your FB ticker or if James Franco tweeted back at you than on studying chem notes. So use these sites as a reward! And enlist the help of a program like LeechBlock to block certain websites for certain periods of times. That way you can study, take a break, get your Pinterest fix, and then get back to studying.
Don't overdo it on the caffeine. To know me is to know I love my coffee, but too much of a good thing becomes a bad thing. Limit yourself with coffee and energy drink intake. When you need that extra boost, opt for a healthier alternative. Certain fruit juices have that extra kick! So do many teas, including green tea.
Get physical. If you can handle the cold, skip the bus/train/car and walk to campus. If trudging five blocks through the snow isn't your style... leave a little wiggle room in your schedule for a gym work out. Exercise releases endorphins (which make you happy!). Walking to a test may give your mind more time and quiet to prepare itself than sitting on a crowded, loud bus. Likewise, walking home after a difficult test can give your mind a chance to de-stress.
Sleep! Please, just say no to all-nighters. Your body needs sleep and functions better when it has enough. Set a good study schedule and stick to it so that you don't find yourself doing a cram session at 3:00 AM before a 7:30 AM exam.
Indulge a little. Leave a little sliver of time each day for something you enjoy---and indulge yourself as a reward. Take a half-hour break to catch up on blogs, pin pretty pics on Pinterest, catch up on that novel you've been trying to finish, watch Trueblood, etc. etc. etc. Or if you study all week without taking a break, grab a bite to eat at your favorite restaurant or roam the antique store for half an hour. If you glue your nose to the textbooks 24/7, you'll end up burnt out before your first exam even hits.
Hey, good looking! Don't underestimate the power of appearance. Wearing a cute outfit, styling your hair, and putting on some makeup can do wonders for your self confidence. We all know that the better you look, the better you feel. So resist the urge to slough to class in sweats. Dress up... just a little. Or a lot! Don't skimp on studying--just work a little time into your morning routine to dress for success. The confidence may shine through on your test scores.
Wait to celebrate. Curse the lucky students who are done with finals by Wednesday. Yes, they get to flock to the bars or host parties or head for home while you're still stuck in the library. But resist the urge to join their revelry until you've completed all those tests. You'll regret drinking away an evening that should have been spent studying. You'll regret a party when you're trying to take your exam with a hangover. So finish your studies and tests, then go have fun. And for those of you fortunate enough to finish early in the week, be respectful of others who haven't finished. Don't try to drag them to the bars or parties. And if you live in a dorm, respect the quiet hours so others can study.
Smile. Yeah, it's hard to smile through the hell of Dead Week and Finals. But a positive attitude will help you see the light at the end of the tunnel.
Good luck, lovely undergrads!