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

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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12 Gifts To Give Your Girlfriend On Valentine's Day

All of these gift ideas will for sure win over your girlfriend's heart this year!

To all the last-minute gift givers of Valentine's Day:

Don't panic. While I know how stressful it can be to get the perfect gift for your significant other, there are so many gift ideas that people always forget as an option. The best part about Valentine's day is not the gifts you get, but rather the romantic time you get to spend with your loved one. So don't worry about how expensive the gift is, just worry about how much thought you put into it. If you are still stuck on a gift to buy for your girlfriend, here are 12 ideas to get the ball rolling for you:

1. Chocolate

Chocolate is every woman's best friend. It also can be your wallet's best friend for this Valentine's Day season. A box of chocolate can warm your girlfriend's heart for a low price.

Buy a box on Amazon.

2. Flowers

Flowers. Another common, but romantic gift for your girlfriend. Get creative with it. Throw rose pedals all over the bed, or hand her a giant bouquet all at once. Either way I am sure she will love it.

Buy them on Amazon.

3. Giant Teddy Bear

This is a gift that I always found so adorable. While it can be obnoxious to purchase and carry around, the look on your girlfriend's face when she sees it will make it all worth it. She can cuddle the bear when you're not around. ;)

Buy one on Amazon.

4. Wine

Again, another luxury that is a woman's best friend. You cannot go wrong with buying your girlfriend a bottle, or bottles, of wine. The only question you have to ask yourself when buying it is, red or white?

Buy a set of glasses to match on Amazon.

5. A Couple's Massage

Um, hello. Who wouldn't love this gift? Not only is it a gift for her, but it is one for you as well. This gift can also be surprisingly cheap. Many places offer amazing deals during the Valentine's Day season!

6. Dinner

There is absolutely nothing wrong with just taking your girlfriend to a romantic dinner on Valentine's Day. Dinner can be expensive enough as it is, the important thing to remember is to make memories that will last a lifetime during the meal.

7. A Movie

Again, nothing wrong with just going to a movie for the night. Sometimes a movie can set the level of romance you need for Valentine's Day.

Buy an AMC gift card on Amazon.

8. A Necklace

I know what you're thinking, too expensive! Don't throw away the necklace idea just yet. There are so many stores that sell such elegant necklaces, and they are decently priced as well. Check out stores like Alex and Ani, or Pandora for great deals, or just order from Amazon!

Buy one on Amazon.

9. A Ring

While this gift may only apply to a select few, imagine how memorable this day would be for your girlfriend. Do not think it is too cliche to propose to your girlfriend on Valentine's Day. Who cares how many other people do it, think about the joy it will bring her.

Buy a diamond ring on Amazon.

10. Clothes

Plan and buy your girlfriend's outfit for the night! It saves her time figuring out what to wear, and you just bought her clothes that she will absolutely adore!

Buy a sweater she will love on Amazon.

11. A One Night Stay at a Hotel

I don't think I have to say anything about this gift. You all know how romantic this is.

Buy a Hotels.com gift card on Amazon.

12. Personalized Picture Frame

A gift that is beyond thoughtful. Taking all of your pictures of memories from before and putting them together for your girlfriend is a gift that will for sure have her in tears.

Buy one on Amazon.

Please note that all items are in stock as of the time of publication. As an Amazon Associate, Odyssey may earn a portion of qualifying sales.

Cover Image Credit: Chip Party Ideas

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5 Things To Look For Before Signing A Lease

"Does it have a hallway closet?"


Spring is an exciting time of year. The trees are starting to get leaves again, flowers are blooming and the weather is starting to get nicer. Spring Break seems to be right around the corner. However, Spring also brings the dreaded apartment hunting season. Once your lease is up you can either renew it or find a new place. Finding a new apartment can be stressful but that shouldn't take the fun out of it. So, here is a list of things I wish I had known to look for before signing the lease.

Check for hallway closets

Once moving in you realize how much you miss that closet in the hallway and how much stuff you really put in there. That closet was the perfect place to stash those pesky cleaning supplies, the vacuum, and the broom. Those odds and ends like the extra paper towels and water bottles so nicely fit into that hallway closet you took for granted. Living without storage for these items has made our living area and kitchen look a mess and a nuisance when having to move it just to use the table.

Noise levels

Noise levels are something that is often forgotten about when walking through an apartment. You shouldn't be able to hear your roommates Netflix binge through the wall. What about the floors do the creak? Does the door make an annoying screech when opening it? What about the traffic outside does it bother you? Remember once you sign that lease you're stuck until it is up. Living with creaky doors and floors makes going to your 8 am class so much worse knowing you might wake your roommate by accident.


Damages are something most people notice before moving in but is there water damage? Water damage often means a leaking roof or dripping pipe that could become a worse issue later. Taking note of these damages before signing can prevent you from having to pay for them later.


It's college everyone parties it seems, but living by the parties can be annoying especially if you're trying to study. Partying usually happens a couple nights of the week but those couple nights seem like every night when attempting to study for an exam on Thirsty Thursday. Studying feels nearly impossible when you hear a raging party going on next door.

Kitchen storage

Storage in general as mentioned in number one is important. A place for your food in the kitchen makes a difference in how much you actually cook. When having a place for cans or boxes of pasta you feel less overwhelmed when you do cook them. Cooking with stuff on the counters isn't only annoying but it makes a mess to clean up. Storage for all your kitchen gadgets and dishes makes for an easier life and not just piles laying around.

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