Finals Week Survival Tips For Engineering Students

Finals Week Survival Tips For Engineering Students

Finals week is hard, so here are a few tips to make it a little easier.
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It’s that time of the semester again. For most colleges and universities, finals week is right around the corner, and students are feeling the pressure. Finals bear a weight on all students. There are students who need high marks on a final exam to achieve their desired grade in that class. Then, there others who have struggled in a class all year, and their grade on the final exam will determine whether they pass or fail the class.

Now if you are an engineering student, then you are definitely sweating bullets. Finals week is simply hell because you are most likely taking some combination of calculus, physics, and engineering classes. These classes have been taking turns beating you up all semester and now the time has come where they have come together to take one last punch. But as Rocky Balboa said, “You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain't about how hard ya hit. It's about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward.” Here are few tips for younger engineering students on how to survive finals week.

1. Know when to use integrals and when to use derivatives

By finals week, most students, if they had not already, have realized just how important calculus is in physics and engineering. Hence, it is key to know when to take a derivative and when to integrate. Doing the opposite of what is needed to solve a problem may end up with you getting an equation for displacement instead of for acceleration.

2. Buy Tissues

Somebody is going to cry. It may be you or classmate crying because of how hard a final was or a professor who crying tears of joy from seeing his students suffer as much as he or she did when they were in engineering school. It is better to be prepared than to find yourself in a situation where you have to use the rough bathroom paper towels to dry up those tears.

3. Know the equations

Some professors may let you use the FE Reference Handbook, some will allow an equation sheet, and the evil ones will make you memorize them. Knowing the equations and how to manipulate them could potentially help you solve the problem even if you do not fully understand the concept.

4. Pray for partial credit and a curve

Let’s face it. No matter how much you study, it is impossible to remember every single thing from every single class you are taking. With this in mind, you will encounter questions that you are only partially sure on how to solve or have no idea at all on where to start. Partial credit and a friendly curve can come in clutch… if your professor is nice enough to give you these things.

5. Have the fail/success memes ready

You should be ready to text your friends after your finals. Memes like the baby with the clutched fist meme are good for celebrating a potentially good final. Meanwhile, the “this is fine” meme is crucial in order to seek consoling from your friends after you completely bombed a final.

Well there you have it. Those are my tips to my fellow engineering student. Good luck to all and may the curve be in your favor.

Cover Image Credit: Cryostasis

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I'm The Girl Without A 'Friend Group'

And here's why I'm OK with it

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Little things remind me all the time.

For example, I'll be sitting in the lounge with the people on my floor, just talking about how everyone's days went. Someone will turn to someone else and ask something along the lines of, "When are we going to so-and-so's place tonight?" Sometimes it'll even be, "Are you ready to go to so-and-so's place now? Okay, we'll see you later, Taylor!"

It's little things like that, little things that remind me I don't have a "friend group." And it's been like that forever. I don't have the same people to keep me company 24 hours of the day, the same people to do absolutely everything with, and the same people to cling to like glue. I don't have a whole cast of characters to entertain me and care for me and support me. Sometimes, especially when it feels obvious to me, not having a "friend group" makes me feel like a waste of space. If I don't have more friends than I can count, what's the point in trying to make friends at all?

I can tell you that there is a point. As a matter of fact, just because I don't have a close-knit clique doesn't mean I don't have any friends. The friends I have come from all different walks of life, some are from my town back home and some are from across the country. I've known some of my friends for years, and others I've only known for a few months. It doesn't really matter where they come from, though. What matters is that the friends I have all entertain me, care for me, and support me. Just because I'm not in that "friend group" with all of them together doesn't mean that we can't be friends to each other.

Still, I hate avoiding sticking myself in a box, and I'm not afraid to seek out friendships. I've noticed that a lot of the people I see who consider themselves to be in a "friend group" don't really venture outside the pack very often. I've never had a pack to venture outside of, so I don't mind reaching out to new people whenever.

I'm not going to lie, when I hear people talking about all the fun they're going to have with their "friend group" over the weekend, part of me wishes I could be included in something like that. I do sometimes want to have the personality type that allows me to mesh perfectly into a clique. I couldn't tell you what it is about me, but there is some part of me that just happens to function better one-on-one with people.

I hated it all my life up until very recently, and that's because I've finally learned that not having a "friend group" is never going to be the same as not having friends.

SEE ALSO: To The Girls Who Float Between Friend Groups

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Things I Miss Now That I'm Home From College Again

There are so many reasons to be glad that the school year is over, but if you've done it right... there are a lot of reasons to miss it too.

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So, school is over now and I've come home. As expected I was so relieved at first. No more showering with flip-flops, no more listening to screaming girls running up and down the hall, and a space that is mine and mine alone. But after a week or so of being back, there are a few things I've already started to miss.

I know that not every single person has the ideal roommate but I got really lucky with mine. Coming home I was excited to have my own space, but now when I'm doing my midnight scrolling, I'm realizing that I miss being able to talk to her about the funny things I see in that very moment. Tagging, DMing, and texting her doesn't feel the same as a long night of giggles spent together.

Also, while seeing old friends when you get home is amazing, and there is always a lot to catch up on, you do start to miss your other friends too. Being in college means that your friends are going through similar things as you are all the time. You have tests together, clubs together, and sometimes you spend way too much time procrastinating together. The bond you begin to form is one you definitely begin to miss - especially when you guys don't live close off of campus.

Coming home also means you don't have a set schedule or at least not immediately. You may come back to a previous job and that puts something on your calendar, but the free time you still have during the week can be a little too much. I know I've spent way too much time obsessing over the Tati/James drama than I ever would have at school. The routine I had at school kept me busy and entertained, and I'm honestly missing it a lot right now.

There are a lot of other things to miss too - even things you thought you wouldn't. You miss the classes, the teachers, and sometimes the food. I know I miss the environment. It isn't a perfect one, but it's full of people just trying to find their way. We are all working through the roller coaster of life and we are all stuck on one beautiful campus together while we figure it all out. I miss meeting new people at the bus stops or running into old classmates and catching up.

I guess the bonus for me is that I just finished sophomore year which means I have more time to spend at school. Come senior year, I guess I'll have to learn quickly how to deal without the things I miss - and also create a schedule so I can travel to see all of my friends, but those are all problems for future me.

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