How to Survive Hell Week and Finals Week

How to Survive Hell Week and Finals Week

Ready or not, here they come...

Across the country, college students are preparing for hell week (the week before finals) and for finals week. These two weeks are two of the four most stressful weeks for every college kid. If you haven't experienced this yet, be prepared to feel every emotion and to consider every option there possibly is just to get out of finals. Different students have different ways of serving these two weeks - we go through hell and back, but we end up surviving and living to tell the tale.

1. Spread out your studying, don't just cram it all in the night before.

Surprise! You have a final in a week and, guess what, you've known about it ever since your professor handed you their syllabus. If you look and plan ahead, you won't have to worry about pulling an all-nighter the day before an exam.

2. Make use of your Keurig, coffeepot, or campus coffee shop.

If you do end up pulling an all-nighter, you're going to need energy, so you're going to need caffeine. Coffee can be expensive, especially if you haven't worked it into your budget. Whenever I have a study session, I make sure that it is in a building that is near the coffee shop on campus or has a vending machine with coffee in it.

3. Limit your all-nighters.

I'm not going to tell you that you aren't going to stay up all night once or twice before finals because you most likely will, especially if you're trying to get in some last minute studying. However, please don't be that person that does it three or four nights in a row. It isn't good for your body and you'll be pushing yourself past your limit, even if you've done it before.

4. Do not forget to eat.

I will personally preach to you to eat healthy during these times. It seems silly but your body needs the brain food more than the junk food during this time. It's OK to order the pizza once or twice a week, but make sure that you are also balancing it out with other healthy options - your body will thank you for it later. Also, try to keep your eating schedule the same as well.

5. Make use of online tools.

Believe it or not, but your computer can also find sites other than Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, or Pinterest that can actually help you study. I personally use Quizlet for flashcards, which really help with foreign language classes. Another hack is to google "site:edu [subject] exam." With this it will bring up different college exams and practice problems that can help you study.

6. Don't be afraid to take breaks.

If you've been studying for a long period of time, don't be afraid to take a break - your brain deserves one. It's OK to watch one episode of Netflix to ease your mind off things, it won't kill you - just don't let that one episode turn into a marathon and watch an entire season. Apart from Netflix, make sure that you take breaks to eat and drink plenty of water. If you have time, take a moment or two to stretch and even go outside - your body will need the fresh air from being cooped up inside all day.

7. Form study groups with people who actually study.

This is something that everyone is going to stress because you're actually going to need to study. At the beginning of the semester, or during mid-terms, make a study group of people who will actually study with you. Get your stuff done sooner so you can study for other classes as well. If you do form a study group, make sure to reserve a room up to a week in advance, if you can, so that way you aren't going on a massive search to find a study room. Surround yourself with people who are going to stay on task so that way you stay on task.

8. Know your learning style.

Everyone has their own way of learning - some learn better in groups, while some learn better by just rereading through their textbook and notes. Don't try to force yourself to study in a way that isn't your way of learning because it won't do much for you. If flash cards work best for you, make flashcards or use Quizlet. If groups work best for you, make a group and talk out all the information.

9. Exercise and keep up your usual routine.

Even if you feel like you don't have the time, you can easily make the time. Hit the gym and take your flash cards or textbook with you. Last hell week and finals week, I found that the gym was the busiest because people were getting their endorphins pumping since it can make a world of a different on your stress levels. Do not drastically rearrange your life just because of finals. Get up at the same time, head to bed at the same time, eat at the same time, shower at the same time - your body is used to your routine, don't change it.

10. Write out your schedule for the last month of school.

At the beginning of the mouth (or middle), make a calendar that you can arrange when every assignment is due and when your finals are - it will feel great when you get to cross off something that you've been work on forever. This will also help you stay organized.

11. Get rid of all possible distractions.

Turn off your phone and tv, you can have music playing, but make sure you have all screens off (except for your computer if you're actually using it productively). See everything as a distraction and don't get caught up in the never-ending scrolling because before you know it, it's midnight and you've only studied for all of 10 minutes. Some people really like to use earplugs - I would recommend this for exams and studying in public spaces because even the quietest noise can be distracting.

12. It's OK to cry about it, but don't stress out to the point of death.

We all do it - we all cry and that's OK. We all know that hell week and finals week are tough, but don't let that stress make you spontaneously combust. If you do cry, try not to get it on any papers that you have to hand into your professor - they may count off for tear streaks.

Overall, hell week and finals week is a rough time in all of our lives, but it is possible to live through it. Keep your life and sh*t together (somewhat) and you'll be just fine. I have full confidence that y'all will make it through finals and pass with flying colors. Happy hell week! And happy (almost) finals week! (PS, remember, soon they will be a thing of the past!

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When You Make A Girl An Aunt, You Change Her World In All The Best Ways

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her the happiest girl in the world.


My brother and his wife recently blessed our family with the sweetest bundle of joy on planet earth. OK, I may be a little bias but I believe it to be completely true. I have never been baby crazy, but this sweet-cheeked angel is the only exception. I am at an age where I do not want children yet, but being able to love on my nephew like he is my own is so satisfying.

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her a very protective person.

From making sure the car seat is strapped in properly before every trip, to watching baby boy breathe while he sleeps, you'll never meet someone, besides mommy and daddy of course, who is more concerned with the safety of that little person than me.

When you make a girl an aunt, you give her a miniature best friend.

There is something about an aunt that is so fun. An aunt is a person you go to when you think you're in trouble or when you want something mom and dad said you couldn't have. An aunt is someone who takes you to get ice cream and play in the park to cool down after having a temper tantrum. I can't wait to be the one he runs to.

When you make a girl an aunt, she gets to skip on the difficulty of disciplining.

Being an aunt means you get to be fun. Not to say I wouldn't correct my nephew if he were behaving poorly, but for the most part, I get to giggle and play and leave the hard stuff for my brother.

When you make a girl an aunt, you give her the best listening ears.

As of right now I only listen to the sweet coos and hungry cries but I am fully prepared to listen to all the problems in his life in the future.

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her the best advice giver.

By the time my nephew needs advice, hopefully, I will have all of my life lessons perfected into relatable stories.

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her a number-one fan

Anything you do in life sweet boy, I will be cheering you on. I already know you are going to do great things.

When you make a girl an aunt, she learns what true love is.

The love I have for my nephew is so pure. Its the love that is just there. I don't have to choose to show love every day, I don't have to forgive, I don't have to worry if it is reciprocated, it is just there.

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her the happiest person in the world.

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I Wonder If You'd Be Proud of Me

Or if you even think of me at all.


I wonder if you'd be proud of me.

My first thought when I wake up in the morning is whether or not you still think of me. I think about if I am wearing the right outfit if I were to see you that day. I think about if I am saying the right thing for you to want to want me again.

Throughout my day, I think about whether or not you're happy. I wonder if the feeling in my heart of missing who I thought you were is making its way to you. Sometimes I think about what I did to make you hate me as much as you do.

Sometimes when things get really hard, I think about picking up the phone to call you. Time keeps passing from the last time I saw you and during that time I've painted a picture of you that would probably only disappoint me in the end. Your phone number still sits in my phone and I go to your contact, wanting to call, but knowing that at the other end is not the person I used to know.

I wonder if you watch me. I wonder if the posts I make, pictures I post, and articles I write are viewed by you and whether or not you care to even search my name. I wonder if you ask people about me or if you care to know the person I am today.

Without you, I have changed. It has been two years and though time will only continue moving on without you, I wonder what would have happened if I didn't make the choices I made to make you react in the way you have.

When the sun shines bright on the flowers blooming around campus, I think of your jokes and sarcastic wit. When the rain pours from the sky and keeps me imprisoned within the walls of a building, I think of ways I felt imprisoned by you. When clouds form shapes in the sky that I can make stories out of, I think of the way life could've been.

Sometimes I write to you. They are the letters I can never send because I have to remind myself that though we knew each other once, you do not know me anymore. The picture in my mind of who you are now is someone who'd love me with open arms, but I know that there's no truth in that. It's only my wishful thinking out to break my heart once more.

I wonder if you hear me when I try talking to you. I wonder if the words I tell God are making their way to you as you go on living the life we always talked about when times get tough. I wonder if you're talking to God about me.

As I watch the sunset, I think about the last moment I was with you. As that chapter ended, I was only wishfully thinking that walking away would save me from further pain. In the end, I don't know about how life would've been different had it not happened.

When my picture of you gets too bright and I share it with others, I am reminded of reality. The screaming, crying, pushing, shoving, and hitting touches my skin once more in the form of flashbacks that push me further down into the depths of a depression. I am reminded of the hundreds of suicidal thoughts and letters that I've written once before.

No matter what, my heart still yearns for a hug. A hug where I can bury myself into your body and feel safe. A hug where I forget every worry in my mind and focus solely on the love.

I wonder if you'd still love me if I changed myself to be the person you've always wanted me to be. I wonder if you'd forgive me for walking away, even if it was for me to change to be a better person. I wonder if you'll ever even read this.

Days like today, I want to go back in time. I sit on the benches around campus and look up at the sky, down at the cars passing by, and listen to life move on all around me as I remain stuck. I hear people talking, see them laughing, and wonder if there's any way I could one day feel as alive as they do.

The truth is that I was never enough for you. No matter how much I changed, kept notes of what you liked so I could be like that, or just kept my head down and moved silently, nothing was ever enough.

No matter what, though, I still yearn to be loved in the way that I picture you should've loved me. Closure does not exist. You were the ones who were supposed to hold me down. But now I am nothing to you...I was always nothing to you.

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