Coping with Finals

Coping with Finals

The advice I should have taken.

It's the most beautiful time of the semester, and when I say that, I say it sarcastically. Forget that winter break is upon us, think about finals! You know, the huge looming exams that could either break or save your GPA? Yeah, those are in the way before you can completely rejoice and celebrate the holiday season and its long break. Now, while I've personally just finished mine - you, my dear reader, might just be about to start prepping or cramming for yours. So let's get you starting on the right foot and avoid being like stressful me.

1. Sleep

I don't think I can stress this issue enough; if you don't sleep, your brain won't perform well enough to get you the grade you deserve after all that studying. Coming drowsy to an exam is akin to not answering a few extra credit questions about Christmas. So get those six hours of sleep or however much you need to be mentally awake for your test.

2. Drink coffee in moderation

I know nursing a thermos is some kind of romanticized action during finals, but honestly, you can only drink so much until you crash. Plus, it affects your sleep, and like we agreed on - you need sleep if you want to do well. So drink it before the exam and maybe have another cup or two after if you need it to study for another one. Just keep in mind that coffee after six won't do the trick!

3. Revise ahead of time/Practice, practice practice!

So you don't take notes in class, or your notes aren't organized enough to study from. Befriend a more studious student, reach out to your college's tutoring center, or if you have to - go to your professor. Just do it all ahead of time so you don't waste your precious hours writing down notes when you could be studying them. Also, if it's a math or science class like calculus or physics, and you're shaking your head that no - you don't memorize these things, well think again! Practice is the counterargument I have for you, friend! If you can expose yourself to as much problems as possible and answer them correctly, chances are - you will be good for your test.

4. Put your phone on airplane mode

Or pass it onto a friend who will safeguard it and keep it away from you for as long as you need. Your phone is your biggest distraction as well as your laptop - but you might need the latter for studying. So just keep it on silent for an hour or two and keep clear of online shopping and browsing. Your friends should understand and if your family needs you, there are - gasp! - other methods of reaching you.

5. Don't stress

I mean, it's kind of unavoidable unless you are admirably confident, but don't stress yourself too much. As long as you are giving or have given it your all, then have the assurance that you at least tried and that is all anyone can ask for. And if you do get a bad mark, then confront your professor - it may be too late for this semester, but you have many more ahead of you.

6. Wash your hands

And finally, you've done all that you can. Exit out of that exam room and throw that worry away. It's no use fretting over something that's been done, and you don't need that extra burden on your shoulders. You have gotten this far, you gave it your all - so just breathe, walk away, and things will be as they were fated to be.

Cover Image Credit: Flickr

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To High School Seniors In Their Last Semester

Senior year moves pretty fast; if you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.

Dammit, you made it. The final semester of your senior year. You’re at the top of the food chain of high school, and it feels so good. You’re probably praying this last semester flies by, that you get out of town as soon as possible.

At this point, you’re calling teachers by their first names, the entire staff knows you by name, and you’re walking around school standing tall, owning those hallways. You’re convinced you’re ready to leave and move on to the next chapter in your life.

You’ve already experienced your last football game, standing in the cold in the front row of the student section all season long, decked out in your school colors and cheering loud and proud. That is, until they lost, and you realized you will never have that experience again. Never again.

SEE ALSO: What I Wish I Knew As A Second-Semester High School Senior

You already had your last winter break. Preparing and celebrating the holidays with your family, ice skating and sledding with your best friends. Those quiet nights alone in your room watching Netflix, taking for granted your loved ones just a few rooms away. Never again.

If you’re an athlete, you may have already played in your last game or ran your last race. The crowd cheering, proudly wearing your school’s name across your chest, giving it your all. For some, it may be the end of your athletic career. Before you knew it, you were standing in an empty gym, staring up at the banners and thinking about the mark you left on your school, wondering where on earth the time went. Never again.

I’m telling you right now, you’re going to miss it all. Everything you’ve ever known. Those early mornings when you debate going to first hour because you really need those McDonald’s hash browns. The late nights driving home from practice, stopping for ice cream of course, ready for a late night of homework. Getting food on a whim with your friends. Endless fights with your siblings. Your favorite chips in the pantry. A fridge full of food. Coming home to and getting tackled by your dog. Driving around your hometown, passing the same sights you’ve seen every day for as long as you can remember. Hugs from your mom after a long day. Laughs with your dad. And that best friend of yours? You’re going to miss them more than anything. I’m telling you right now, nothing will ever be the same. Never again.

SEE ALSO: I'm The Girl That Enjoyed High School

Before you start packing your bags, slow down, take a deep breath, and look around. You’ve got it pretty good here. The end of your senior year can be the time of your life; it’s truly amazing. So go to the winter dance, go to Prom, spend Senior Skip Day with your classmates, go to every sporting event you can, while you still can. College is pretty great, but it’s the little things you’re gonna miss the most. Don’t take it for granted because soon, you’ll be standing in a packed gym in your cap and gown, wondering where the heck the time went. You’ve got a long, beautiful life ahead of you, full of joy but also full of challenges. You’re going to meet so many wonderful people, people who will treat you right and people who won’t.

So, take it all in. Be excited for the future and look forward to it, but be mindful of the present. You’ve got this.
Cover Image Credit: Hartford Courant

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4 Insightful Quotes From 'The Alchemist' That Will Resonate With People Who Want To Follow Their Dreams

Paulo Coelho's famed coming-of-age novel continues to inspire readers today with following their dreams.


In "The Alchemist" by Paulo Coelho, a young boy named Santiago embarks on a life-changing journey to find a hidden treasure in the pyramids of Egypt and learns the importance of following one's destiny along the way. Since its release in the 1990s, "The Alchemist" has captivated people all over the world, including TV personality Oprah Winfrey and actor Will Smith.

With its powerful messages of love and gratitude, here are some of the most insightful quotes from the novel that will resonate with those who want to find and pursue their purpose in life.

1. “When we love, we always strive to become better than we are. When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better too.”

Dawn, seaside and sea HD

On his journey, Santiago learns that love exists as a universal language in the world. When people follow their dreams and passions, they are driven by the power of love. With this power, one can guide themselves on the path to finding their own treasure and accomplishing their goals. Actively shaping your destiny through love can also positively improve how you perceive everything around you.

2. “When each day is the same as the next, it’s because people fail to recognize the good things that happen in their lives every day that the sun rises.”

Sunset Sunrise Sun

Too often people live their days accustomed to routine and consistency. When you begin treating each day as a new day full of opportunities and find time to appreciate the good things, you start seeing the beauty of life. This importance of practicing gratitude serves as a reminder to the world that life is fleeting, and we must strive to always make the best and see the best of our situations.

3. “And, when you can't go back, you have to worry only about the best way of moving forward.”

Lake By The Mountains

Throughout their lives, people will make mistakes and have regrets, and we will often spend days wondering what we could've done differently. We forget that we can't change the past and that the only thing that matters is how we move forward in the present day. So let go of past mistakes and regrets, and focus on how you can improve the present.

4. “The secret of happiness is to see all the marvels of the world, and never to forget the drops of oil on the spoon.”

Mountains Dirt Road Hill

In the novel, Santiago hears a story of a man who wanted to learn the secret of happiness from a wise king. The king told the man to walk around his palace holding a spoon full of oil and making sure not to spill it. After successfully doing so, he returns to the king and he asks if the man had seen all the beauty of his castle, which he ignored in his quest to keep the oil on the spoon. When following our dreams, we must not lose sight of appreciating all the wonders of life along the way; after all, it's not about the destination, but the journey.

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