With finals just around the corner, students are busy planning every second of their days for studying and the occasional Netflix break. Between scouting out a room in the SLC (lol, good luck) and drinking copious amount of coffee, students can often mess up the most crucial aspect of cramming: the desk set-up.
Why waste time rummaging for a pencil or finding the perfect Spotify playlist? With a perfectly crafted study area comes a productive cram session for all.
First and foremost, your computer. For optimal usage, place the computer to your left slightly turned towards yourself. In this position, you can type easily while also skimming over your Chemistry notes. Wikipedia and thesaurus.com are the most frequently visited websites during this week, so you need to make sure that they are effortlessly accessible. Buzzfeed can also save the most stressed from a Lindsay Lohan-style meltdown. The computer is the fireplace of your study area—keep the light close.
Next, a thermos filled with coffee. Jittery Joes, while a beautiful establishment that provides the ultimate gift to all, closes at the early hour of 1:00 AM. We all know that there is no sleeping during finals week, which means coffee is required all night long. Don’t miss your chance for a caffeine boost.
Pens and pencils are the things people used to write papers and notes with before Microsoft came along, in case anyone forgot. Don’t underestimate the power of actually writing things down. You can place these writing utensils at a further distance, however, so they don’t get in the way.
You aren’t you when you’re hungry, so you can’t study that well either. Poptarts (the cinnamon kind, obviously), nutrition bars and fruit are the key to an all-nighter. Make sure to consider the crunch factor when choosing a snack, you don't want to be desperately trying to not make loud chip-eating noises in the quiet area. Nothing productive can be done on an empty stomach. Place the snacks off to the right but within arm’s length for emergency purposes. Calories don’t count during finals week, and you’ll be wearing an oversized sweatshirt for the next couple of months anyway, so eat up!
As for your phone, pick Spotify playlists before you begin. Mix it up with quiet and upbeat songs so you never get too depressed or too happy. Too much of either emotion can lead to hours of looking at YouTube videos. Videos consisting of dogs reuniting with their owners for the former and Taylor Swift parody videos for the latter can keep you distracted until the New Year.
A blanket can be the saving grace of finals studying. If you are cold or in desperate need of a 15-minute nap, a blanket is all you need. Don’t be embarrassed to sleep in the middle of the SLC for all to see. This is finals week—anything goes. The fact that you are still a semi-functioning person is impressive enough.
Finally, no study session can be complete without the books and notebook paper. Only have one subject on the desk at a time to avoid clutter. The textbooks take center stage during this truly unfortunate week, unavoidable and begging you to highlight every word on the page.
Now that you have created your Zen garden of study areas, get ready. This week is truly terrible, but afterwards you get to celebrate with pounds of cookies and sleeping all day. Good luck to all my fellow students, I wish you all the best. But if you take my favorite study spot, I will fight you.