10 Tips to Maximize Your Time Before Finals Week

10 Tips to Maximize Your Time Before Finals Week

It's time to start prepping for finals
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As Thanksgiving came and went, finals are creeping around the corner. Last semester you said you were going to start studying early but instead crammed the night before your Statistics exam. As if last semester wasn’t traumatic enough, finals are still fast approaching. If you’re starting to panic like me, here are a 10 tips to ease your nerves before your first exam.

1. Start early

To instantly calm your nerves, start studying now. You can start by reviewing your notes and asking questions about things you didn’t understand in class. This will allow you to fully think through tough concepts and avoid cramming the night before the exam.

2. Create a study guide

Although most professors will give you a final exam study guide, its important to build off of that to create your own. Writing down your own ideas next to your professor will help you understand and memorize it more easily.

3. Make a study group

Studying in groups is extremely helpful. This gives you the opportunity to teach others what you know and also learn things in a new way. Also, your study group may be able to quiz you, so you know your strengths and weaknesses on the information.

4. Stay well-rested

It is extremely important to stay well rested and avoid all-nighters at all costs. A 2008 study by Pamela Thacher says that all-nighters impair memory for up to four days. That means that all-nighters could virtually be pointless, leading to lower grades.

5. Create a study schedule

In order to stay on top of your work, you should create a study schedule. It is important to stay with the schedule so you feel organized. This way, the material will be separated into chunks as opposed to all at once.

6. Switch up your study spots

According to an article by The New York Times, alternating study spots improves a person’s retention. The study says that the brain makes associations between the material studied and the location it was studied in. Try to alternate study locations by going to Starbucks, Fondren or off campus.

7. Eat healthily

Although it is important to eat healthily all year round, during finals it is especially tempting to grab the Ben & Jerry’s. Make sure to get a good breakfast such as oatmeal before a big day of studying or an exam. A study suggests that eating high-carb, high-fiber, slow-digesting foods like oatmeal are more fulfilling than cereal.

8. Go to a review session

Review sessions with a TA or Professor are great because they can answer a lot of your previous questions. They can also provide more information about the exam format, key concepts and what you should study. Make sure to take notes during a review session so you’re able to reference them later.

9. Don't cram!

Although it is not ideal, most college students cram for their exams. Instead of flooding your brain with information, study in intervals. A study shows that studying in 20-50 minute sections is better for your brain than cramming. This leads to long-term retention and memorization.

10. Stay calm

Don’t panic yet! You’ve worked all semester for this and know the information. Remember to stay calm leading up to, during and after your exam. Focus on knowing the easiest information first and then digging through the harder concepts, you’ve got this!!

Cover Image Credit: U Michigan

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​An Open Letter To The People Who Don’t Tip Their Servers

This one's for you.
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Dear Person Who Has No Idea How Much The 0 In The “Tip:" Line Matters,

I want to by asking you a simple question: Why?

Is it because you can't afford it? Is it because you are blind to the fact that the tip you leave is how the waiter/waitress serving you is making their living? Is it because you're just lazy and you “don't feel like it"?

Is it because you think that, while taking care of not only your table but at least three to five others, they took too long bringing you that side of ranch dressing? Or is it just because you're unaware that as a server these people make $2.85 an hour plus TIPS?

The average waiter/waitress is only supposed to be paid $2.13 an hour plus tips according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

That then leaves the waiter/waitress with a paycheck with the numbers **$0.00** and the words “Not a real paycheck." stamped on it. Therefore these men and women completely rely on the tips they make during the week to pay their bills.

So, with that being said, I have a few words for those of you who are ignorant enough to leave without leaving a few dollars in the “tip:" line.

Imagine if you go to work, the night starts off slow, then almost like a bomb went off the entire workplace is chaotic and you can't seem to find a minute to stop and breathe, let alone think about what to do next.

Imagine that you are helping a total of six different groups of people at one time, with each group containing two to 10 people.

Imagine that you are working your ass off to make sure that these customers have the best experience possible. Then you cash them out, you hand them a pen and a receipt, say “Thank you so much! It was a pleasure serving you, have a great day!"

Imagine you walk away to attempt to start one of the 17 other things you need to complete, watch as the group you just thanked leaves, and maybe even wave goodbye.

Imagine you are cleaning up the mess that they have so kindly left behind, you look down at the receipt and realize there's a sad face on the tip line of a $24.83 bill.

Imagine how devastated you feel knowing that you helped these people as much as you could just to have them throw water on the fire you need to complete the night.

Now, realize that whenever you decide not to tip your waitress, this is nine out of 10 times what they go through. I cannot stress enough how important it is for people to realize that this is someone's profession — whether they are a college student, a single mother working their second job of the day, a new dad who needs to pay off the loan he needed to take out to get a safer car for his child, your friend, your mom, your dad, your sister, your brother, you.

If you cannot afford to tip, do not come out to eat. If you cannot afford the three alcoholic drinks you gulped down, plus your food and a tip do not come out to eat.

If you cannot afford the $10 wings that become half-off on Tuesdays plus that water you asked for, do not come out to eat.

If you cannot see that the person in front of you is working their best to accommodate you, while trying to do the same for the other five tables around you, do not come out to eat. If you cannot realize that the man or woman in front of you is a real person, with their own personal lives and problems and that maybe these problems have led them to be the reason they are standing in front of you, then do not come out to eat.

As a server myself, it kills me to see the people around me being deprived of the money that they were supposed to earn. It kills me to see the three dollars you left on a $40 bill. It kills me that you cannot stand to put yourself in our shoes — as if you're better than us. I wonder if you realize that you single-handedly ruined part of our nights.

I wonder if maybe one day you will be in our shoes, and I hope to God no one treats you how you have treated us. But if they do, then maybe you'll realize how we felt when you left no tip after we gave you our time.

Cover Image Credit: Hailea Shallock

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Warm Weather Is Finally Here And That Means Seasonal Depression Can Go Fly A Kite

Like seriously, get out of here.

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Any form of depression flippin' sucks. Like something major. Mental health is wicked important and sometimes crazy hard to maintain. The cold weather of winter does absolutely nothing to help either and ends up making it a lot harder to stay motivated, want to get out of bed and to ever go outside to be productive and active. Vitamin D is so detrimental to the health of our bodies. The sunshine lets us soak that up, but it's almost impossible to do when it's sub-zero for four months straight (ok, a bit of an exaggeration, but not really).

Seasonal depression brings out the worst moods during the long winter months and drags us down. What we can do is to busy ourselves and push ourselves to be the happiest we can be with enjoyable activities. Make sure you do fun things that will help you avoid being stir crazy. It's a vital time of self-care and making sure you are physically and emotionally healthy.

Once the icy force field of the winter breaks, spring flourishes and so do we. The heavyweight that was hanging on our shoulders is lifted off. We instantly feel lighter. It's an amazing feeling and so relieving. Getting through the winter in one piece feels so successful.

So, have fun now. Enjoy the fresh air and let the sunshine kiss your skin. Embrace your happy and positive thoughts. Cherish not having to wear a jacket and the fact that you need air conditioning in your car instead of heat. Roll the windows down and blast the music. Make your days include some form of outside activities and exercise. Celebrate every single aspect of the spring and summer because when winter rolls around again, you will want memories to keep you going so that when you have to do it all over again, it will go smoothly.

So, goodbye seasonal depression, we won't miss you.

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