The Do's And Don'ts Of Preparing For Finals

The Do's And Don'ts Of Preparing For Finals

It's almost that time again! When it comes to finals, there are a lot of things you should do to prepare, but there are also a lot of things you SHOULDN'T do.

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Whether you're in high school, college, graduate school, or beyond, chances are you'll have to take finals within a few weeks to a month. It's easy to get stressed and overwhelmed, but hopefully following these tips will make it easier!

1. DO take breaks!

Absorbing information for hours at a time doesn't help anyone. Take short periodic breaks between subjects, chapters, etc. to do something, like read an enjoyable book, play a couple of rounds of a game, or take a walk.

2. DON'T ignore your responsibilities!

However, don't take TOO many breaks! Studying for five minutes and breaking for 60 minutes probably won't help you. Worried about losing track of time? Set an alarm or a reminder.

3. DO ask for help!

There is no shame in seeking out a tutor, a professor, a TA, etc. You're paying them to educate you, after all! At the very least, try to find a study buddy or two in class. Even if you're better at working alone, it's always nice to have someone just in case.

4. DON'T let other sources do your work for you!

That being said, make sure you're still learning! It's shockingly easy to sit through a tutoring session or an office hours meeting thinking, "Yeah, yeah, I got it," when you're really just not doing enough work. Remember what your helper said, and then go home and practice it yourself!

5. DO keep your current grade in mind!

Use it as a gauge to find out what your goal is on your final. If you're failing or in danger of failing, you obviously need to work hard to get an A. On the other hand, if you've had excellent grades in a certain class so far, it's probably safe to (slightly) neglect it in favor for your weaker spots.

6. DON'T get too hung up on the past!

That being said, moderation is key. If you think, "Well, I have an A+ in this class right now, so I can slack on the final," that won't do any good! Additionally, if you're already viewing yourself as doomed to failure due to previous mistakes, you may want to try to pull yourself out of that rut.

Even if there's genuinely no hope of you passing, you should at least pay attention now, so you have a bit of a hard start for when you retake the class next semester.

7. DO try to make studying interesting!

Quizlet flashcards, Kahoot, etc. are all fun ways to learn things like vocabulary or equations. You don't have to have your head in the textbook at all times!

8. DON'T try new studying methods that you haven't done before!

That being said, it's best to stick with your tried-and-true study methods for now. If there's a new technique you want to try, you'll have plenty of time next semester. Don't risk anything right now.

9. DO study bit by bit!

Calculate how much time you have until finals and how much work you'll have to do until then. Try to divide it up as evenly as possible.

10. DON'T cram!

If you "learn" it all the night before, you will not get the grade that you wanted. That's not to say you shouldn't study at all right before the test (you should, especially in math), but you should never study it all the morning of.

11. DO practice self-care!

Remember to eat proper meals, shower, stay hydrated, etc. Even doing those simple things can greatly reduce your stress.

12. DON'T freak!

I know how easy it is to get nervous, but remind yourself that it's still the beginning of your life. You have time to recover from any mistakes you happen to make. Going in with a negative attitude can and will take its toll on your performance.

13. DO remember the things you always get stuck on!

Do you find yourself confusing meiosis and mitosis? Do you forget to add the + C at the end of your integrals? Is it a struggle for you to remember the symbolism of Grendel's arm? Try to find a way to make it easier for you.

I remembered the unit circle through a rap, the periodic table through an ASAPScience YouTube video, and early American History through "Hamilton", the musical. Find a method that works for you, no matter what it may be.

14. DON'T make stupid mistakes!

Always double-check everything if you have time. Don't lose points because you forgot a negative sign in calculus or because you mixed up the characters of George and Lennie in English Comp.

Most importantly, DON'T worry and DO your best! Finals are just one week of your life, and you can make it through. Even if it doesn't turn out the way you want it to, it's not the end of the world. Breathe, you've got this!

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30 First-Apartment Essentials College Kids Forget To Buy At Target And Later Order On Amazon

Don't wait until you need to take something out of the oven to realize that you don't have any oven mitts.

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If you're anything like I am, you're beyond excited to start planning and shopping for your first apartment. It's easy to get wrapped up in the fun stuff for your first apartment, trust me, as a former Bed Bath & Beyond employee I could spend hours wandering through shower curtains and bedding.

Before you get too carried away there are just some essential things that you'll need, but they aren't as much fun to pick out. Don't wait until you need to take something out of the oven to realize that you don't have any oven mitts, because I really don't see that ending well for you (I may or may not know that from personal experience).

1. Oven mitts

Gets those oven mitts because the sleeve of your sweater might seem like it will work, but I'm living proof that it won't, most sweaters have holes.

2. Trash bags

Don't wait until you need to throw something away to realize you don't have them.

3. Hand soap

It's not like a dorm bathroom where the maintenance staff refills a soap dispenser that's drilled into the wall. You're on your own kid.

4. Toilet paper

Again, no staff replacing it for you. Stay on top of it and make sure you always replace an empty roll, especially if you have roommates.

5. Water filter or pitcher

This one depends on whether your water is safe to drink or not, but be prepared. You don't want to move in under the summer sun only to realize you don't have any drinkable water at your snazzy new pad.

6. Tools

Hammers, screwdrivers, all that jazz. If you're moving in some furniture you're probably going to need tools to put it together.

7. Lighting

You don't want to be unpacking and stumbling around a new space in the dark your first night. Know what lighting is built in and where you might need to add some light.

8. Silverware organizer

Ok, so you probably remembered to pack the silverware, but do you really want to throw it all in a pile in a drawer? That's a good way to grab the wrong end of a knife by accident, maybe get some dividers to keep your silverware nice and sorted.

9. Dish towels

Most people think about bath towels, but if you're not used to having a kitchen you might not have thought of dish towels. You're going to need those when you're whipping up your favorite dinner.

10. Measuring cups

I'm a huge advocate for estimating and guessing in the kitchen, but if you're baking anything at all you should probably at least have some measuring utensils as a guide.

11. Bottle opener and corkscrew

You're going to want to crack open a drink and celebrate your first night in the new place. Wouldn't it be a buzzkill if you couldn't even get the drinks open?

12. Sponges

You have to be able to clean the counters and the dishes when you're done being an expert chef!

13. Paper towels

Spills happen, and you don't always want to clean them with your nice towels.

14. Toilet plunger

It's one of those things you never really think about... that is, until you need one.

15. Air freshner

You know, for after you use the toilet plunger.

16. Extension cords

You probably have a larger space than you're used to, sometimes those cords that come with all your new electronics just aren't quite long enough.

17. Utensil container

A little round pot or bucket is the perfect place to put all of your kitchen utensils. Things like spatulas and whisks will take up space in your drawers and create clutter. Plus, keeping them out makes them easier to grab when you're whipping up some food.

18. Batteries

There's nothing worse than getting your new TV all set up and realizing you can't use the remote.

19. Curtains

If you need darkness to sleep, you want to make sure you get those bedroom curtains up and ready to roll.

20. Toilet bowl brush

Sorry, but I'm certainly not reaching in there with my hands.

21. Ice cube trays

To keep you cool as a cucumber during this stressful time.

22. Can opener

Try prying a can open with your hands. I dare you.

23. Stain remover

For when you try to pry the can open with your hands and manage to spray tomato sauce all over yourself.

24. Carbon monoxide/Smoke detectors

Cause we don't want any tragedies here.

25. Collander

We both know you will be making pasta every night, so you're going to need to drain it.

26. Coasters

You definitely don't want to ruin your super fancy new Ikea table.

27. Dry erase board

No need to argue over who should take out the trash, just make sure to write down everyone's chores.

28. Underbed storage

On a college budget there's no way you can expect a walk-in closet, those clothes and shoes will have to go somewhere.

29. Drying rack

For when the dryer in your building inevitably stops working.

30. Step stool

If you're short, like me, you need a little help reaching that top shelf.

Hopefully this list has helped you feel a little more prepared to move into your first apartment. The decorating and planning is so much more enjoyable when you know you have all of your bases covered. I wish you the best of luck with your first major endeavor in the world of adulting!

Note: As an Amazon Associate, Odyssey may earn a portion of qualifying sales.

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How To Stay Mentally Healthy In College

Our mental health is just as important as our physical health.

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Staying healthy in college seems really, really hard to do. Classes, friends, clubs, and the whole fact of living by yourself can create a lot of stress and anxiety. Most students, and people in general, don't really know how to deal with stress or how to take care of themselves mentally, leading to unhealthy behaviors physically and mentally. If you don't take care of your mental health, your physical health will suffer eventually. Here are a few tips and tricks to help take care of your mental health:

1. Eat a well-balanced diet

Eating fruits, vegetables, grains, and other healthy foods will help you feel more energized and motivated. Most people associate eating a balanced diet as beneficial for your physical health, but it is just as important for your mental health.

2. Keep a journal and write in it daily

Writing can be one of the most relaxing and stress-relieving things you can do for yourself. Writing down the issues you are struggling with or the problems you are encountering in your life on a piece of paper can help you relax and take a step back from that stress.

3. Do something that brings you joy

Take some time to do something that brings you joy and happiness! It can be really easy to forget about this when you are running around with your busy schedule but make some time to do something you enjoy. Whether it be dancing, writing, coloring, or even running, make some time for yourself.

4. Give thanks

Keeping a gratitude log — writing what brings you joy and happiness — helps to keep you positively minded, which leads to you becoming mentally healthy. Try to write down three things that brought you joy or made you smile from your day.

5. Smile and laugh

Experts say that smiling and laughing help improve your mental health. Not only is it fun to laugh, but laughing also helps you burn calories! There's a reason why smiling and laughing are often associated with happiness and joyful thoughts.

6. Exercise

Staying active and doing exercises that energize your body will help release endorphins and serotonin, which both act as a natural antidepressant. Keeping an active lifestyle will help you stay happy!

7. Talk out your problems

All of us deal with stress and have problems from time to time. The easiest and probably most beneficial way to deal with this stress and anxiety is to talk it out with a close friend, family member, or even a counselor.

8. See a counselor, peer mentor, or psychologist

Just like it was stated in the previous point, it is beneficial to talk out your problems with a counselor. We all have issues, and it is OK to ask for help.

Keeping up your mental health in college can be a struggle, and it may be hard to even admit you are not mentally healthy. This is OK; you are not alone. If you want to see a psychologist or would like to learn more about mental health, there are resources. You can also take a self-assessment of your mental health. If you are struggling with thoughts of suicide, please, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

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