8 Ways To Survive Finals

8 Ways To Survive Finals

It's easy to get stressed out over the final days of the semester


It's officially the holiday season. While everyone else is busy decorating Christmas tress and buying gifts for their loved ones, college students are trapped in the library stressing over finals. With papers, tests, and group projects it's easy to get stressed out over the final days of the semester. Here are 8 ways to help you survive the final season!

1. Plan your schedule.

This is when that $40 planner you bought back in August will come in handy! write down the dates of your finals in a planner so you can plan when to study.

2. Get plenty of rest. 

Despite popular belief, all nighters are not effective. To do well on your finals and avoid getting sick, you need a good night's sleep.

3. Eat healthy.

It is definitely easy to stress eat during finals, but avoid ordering Domino's at 2 AM. High levels of sugar can actually increase your levels of stress. Skip the junk food and grab a salad!

4. Study with friends. 

Studying with friends can decrease your stress during finals. Surrounding yourself with people who are experiencing the same stress as you can be comforting.

5. Go to professor office hours. 

If your professor offers office hours during finals, take advantage of it. You can voice your concerns about your final grade or about the upcoming exam.

6. Exercise. 

Going to the gym is a great way to take a break from studying. Take a break from the books and grab a gym buddy to relive some of that built up stress.

7. Watch your favorite Netflix show. 

It is important to remember that you need to take some time for yourself during finals. After hours of studying, your brain is going to need a break. Sit back, relax, and turn on whatever show you obsess over!

8. Remember that finals are not the end of the world!

Although finals are super stressful, remind yourself that it's just a test. One grade does not define you and you will survive college finals!

Happy studying!

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6 Things I Didn't Really Need in My Freshman Dorm, And 6 Things I Wish I Brought Instead

I promise you, being Pinterest-worthy just doesn't make sense in a dorm.

As I packed up my dorm room and unpacked it all once I got home, I kinda felt stupid. I moved in with 2 cars full of stuff (yes, I know how extra that sounds and yes, it was indeed that extra) and I didn't end up needing half of it. Now, I'm swimming in stuff I need to get rid of while holding on to the stuff I didn't realize I would need and ended up buying mid-year. No matter how much you think you know everything, first-time dorm residents, please listen.

6 things I DIDN'T need but swore I did

1. All my personal books

I mean, I'm an English major and I love to read, but no one, and I mean no one, A) has free time and B) uses that free time to read in college.

2. Keurig

There's a coffee shop I can use my cafe credits at on my way to class. I never woke up early enough to brew my own coffee, and I never craved it bad enough in the afternoon to feel like I needed to make my own immediately. It was nice to make tea with though.

3. Dishes and Silverware/Excessive Mugs

All you need is 1 mug and a couple of water bottles. I promise you paper plates and plastic silverware are all you need.

4. An overabundance of office supplies

I didn't use all those fancy office supplies in high school, so as much as I love them, I have yet to reach for them in college.

5. T.V.

The T.V. I had was only slightly bigger than my laptop screen and the wifi at my dorm wasn't good enough for streaming. I hardly used it, but I know others used theirs a lot. Just a personal preference!

6. Tons of wall art

I totally believe wall art has the power to make a dorm room feel less institutional, but I wish I had brought more pictures from home to make my room personal. Pinterest dorm rooms just aren't real, and they aren't what you want when you're homesick.

6 things I wish I had bought before school started

1. ID Lanyard

I personally love these ones from Vera Bradley , but honestly, any way you can carry your ID, money, and keys all in one is a life changer.

2. Earplugs / Eye Mask

Dorms are loud even during quiet hours and sometimes your roommate stays up later or gets up earlier than you do. Amazon couldn't ship these to me fast enough.

3. Wireless Headphones/Earbuds

Personally, I'm an earbuds girl, but either one does the trick. It's nice to not have to deal with cords and to be able to connect to any of your devices without an adapter.

4. Laptop Shell/Stickers

Almost everyone ends up ordering stickers to put on their laptop to express themselves to those around them. On a practical level though, you're probably going to have the same laptop as 5+ other students in your lecture and you will probably throw your laptop in a bag and run at some point. A shell and some stickers will provide more protection than you realize. Check out RedBubble for some great options.

5. Small vacuum

This is especially important if you get a rug. Sweeping is not pleasant, and the vacuums at your dorm are probably older than you are.

6. Pictures from home

Like I said before, wall art isn't going to comfort you when you want to go home. A picture of your dog or best friend sure will though.

Cover Image Credit: Lauren Gherna

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6 Things I Would Do Differently If I Could Do My Freshman Year Over Again

Enjoy it now, because you might just miss it.


The first year of my college experience was absolute mass chaos. It was the best of times and the worst of times. I laughed, I cried, I loved, I lost, I did a lot of other things that one might do in a coming of age novel. It's been happy and exciting and sad and really ugly and really beautiful. So in honor of the full freshman experience, here are some pieces of advice I would give to past me if I could go back and do it over.

1. Leave nothing unsaid.

Treat every day like it's the last day you're going to see the people you love. You would tell them what was on your mind if you were pressed for time, so why not tell them now? Some of my biggest regrets have come from leaving things unspoken and realizing I should have been up front earlier. Communication, openness, and honesty make most relationships so much stronger. If they don't love you after you speak your truth, they didn't love you, to begin with, so spill it.

2. Some things are worth running for. 

I have a friend who used to tell me, "I'll never run for buses or boys. Another one of each will come soon enough." Here's my thing: some people are worth running for. It's one thing to leave an obviously toxic relationship. It's another matter entirely to walk away from a relationship that "doesn't deserve you" simply because you weren't willing to work for it. Don't let pride ruin your life. If you mess up, if there's been a miscommunication, if you've had a fight and you believe that person is worth it, there's nothing wrong with running after them. Don't make the mistake of letting them walk so far away that you lose them for good. (As for buses, class attendance policy is a real thing. Do what you gotta do to get there on time.)

3. Appreciate your dorm for what it is.

People used to tell me I was going to get tired of dorm life. Quite the opposite, I was sad to leave it. I loved my dorm. I loved my hall mates. I loved being able to walk across the street and see my friends at two in the morning, and I loved being ten minutes away from every class, dining hall, and facility I could need. Dorm life is hard. It builds character. It makes you appreciate privacy. It forces you to learn how to coexist with another person. It gets you out of your comfort zone. It makes you realize how grateful you are for your mom and your cats and your own washing machine where you can leave your clothes for as long as you want, and your room where you can really be alone-alone, and your driveway where you can park without getting a ticket. But dorm life is also beautiful. It gives you built in friends you never would have found outside of your hall. It puts you in the center of a beautiful energy you'll never recreate. It's one of a kind. Learn to love it, because you might just miss it.

4. Say "hey" first.

I will always love freshmen because of how willing they are to make friends. I remember my very first week of college when everyone was so eager to get to know people. Nobody knew anybody, and conversation flowed so freely. Every place with people was open grounds for a meet and greet. Now, the idea of seeing a stranger on a bus and randomly asking their major is ridiculous, but it shouldn't have to be. I wish that initiating conversation with strangers were normal even when we don't really "need" it. I wish open conversation and quickly developed intimacy between strangers wasn't just a means of first-year self-preservation. I wish our social lives were like one long freshman year.

5. Get used to interacting with strangers.

I used to be so afraid and awkward around people I didn't know. Sitting next to someone in a crowded room? Too weird, I'll take the floor. Public restrooms? Who uses those, I'll wait until I get home. Asking for help in a store? That cashier is going to hate me, I'll come back tomorrow. Let me tell you, once you've sat on a stranger's lap on an Orbit and gotten locked out of your room in nothing but a towel, your interactions with everyday strangers change a little bit. Privacy is nothing but a thing. Sitting next to a stranger in a movie? That's nothing after sitting without clothes in a stranger's room while you wait for your roommate to come back with the key.

6. More than anything, learn to be in the moment.

Learn to love where you are even if you don't necessarily want to be there. Trust the process and try to enjoy it. I promise you'll miss it more than you think.

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