A Pep Talk As Finals Week Winds Down

A Pep Talk As Finals Week Winds Down

You are so much more powerful than the stress that weighs you down.
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It's the most wonderful time of the year! Finals and projects and tests ...

At this point in the semester, it can be easy to let the stress take over and just wipe away all motivation to do anything; leaving you like this for hours at a time:

Finals are by far the worst time of the year, when everyone becomes anti-social and locks themselves in the library or their room for hours at a time. They are glued to their books, notebooks and computer screens with headphones in their ears, music blasting to try and soothe the stress and block everyone around them.

Don't let the stress take you over because you are so much more powerful than the stress that weighs you down, no matter how heavy it becomes.

One of the things that I am most guilty of doing every semester, even though I tell myself every time that I will be better, is putting everything off until the last minute, and end up cramming.

I regret cramming every time, especially when I'm sitting in the classroom taking the final, when it's too late.

Don't be like me, and take active steps to try and start preparing as early as you can.


Start by making a list of when all of your final tests are and when your final papers are due. Also, don't forget to include the times!

Next, find the best place for you to study. It could be a lounge in your residence hall, your room, a classroom in an academic building on campus or even in the library, like most people on campus (just be sure to get there early to get a seat).

Put in a few good hours of work; you got this! Don't forget to take breaks for food and mental health. A change of scenery might not be a bad idea either after a while to help you stay fresh and focused.

A phone break every once in a while is fine, but don't get sucked into that Instagram hole. Remember, finals are about your textbook and notes, not what Jane commented on Ally's Instagram post 52 weeks ago and that BuzzFeed quiz is not quizzing you on the material that you need to know for the test.

The library also has lots of events going on, such as therapy dogs, a petting zoo, decorating ornaments, sending postcards to your family and so much more to help manage the stress and give you a good study break. Take advantage of an hour study break when you can.

You are so smart and you know all the material that you need to know. As one of my professors said this semester, all of the material is up there somewhere; it just needs to be accessed. The way to access that information is to not panic and to just breathe. Do all of the questions that you know first and go back to the more difficult ones later. You will get more of the test done than you think, and once you get going, stress will be a thing of the past.

Don't forget sleep too, as sleep is important. Also, after a certain hour, your brain stops absorbing information because you are so tired and can't think straight. It's best to get sleep and wake up early if you feel like you need to study more. While you're at it, you should eat because it gives you brain power.

It's almost over, so just give it one more final push and you'll be home for the holidays before you know it. Just remember, your friends and family are here for you, and as college students, we're all in this together.

Cover Image Credit: Columbia University Libraries

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10 Things To NEVER Do In College, EVER

Just a little advice for the start of a new semester.
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College — a new place with new people and a new you! You're ready to get a fresh start on a new campus; before you start, however, there are some social rules that you should know. These are suggestions that you are not required to follow, but they are highly recommended. Here are ten things you probably should not do from now on.

1. Raise your hand to use the restroom.

You're an adult now. You don't have to ask to use the restroom, go get a snack from the vending machine real quick, or go outside to take an important phone call. Just go and take care of whatever you feel is important.

2. Watch your favorite TV show... while sitting in the front row.

Going to lecture might be boring sometimes (and/or tiring, depending on when the class is). You would rather sign the attendance sheet, take out your laptop, and continue binge watching your favorite show. This is especially tempting when you have class in a big lecture hall with 200+ students; however, if you are in one of the front rows, other people can probably see your laptop screen (especially if you have a fairly large laptop). News flash: there are other people in the class trying to actually pay attention to what the professor is saying. It also defeats the purpose of going to lecture, so it's not doing you a favor either. So if you have to go to class and absolutely need to watch that last episode of "Game of Thrones", do your classmates a favor and sit in the back of the class.

3. Sit down on the bus and use the seat next to you for your backpack.

If you go to a big school like I do, we have a bus system to get from one part of the university to another. Do not be that jerk on a crowded bus who thinks their bag/backpack/whatever other stuff you have with you deserves a seat for itself. If you are on a crowded bus, place your bag on your lap, on the floor between your legs, or under your seat. You will get glares from people if you make a special seat for your [insert expensive bag here].

4. Avoid giving up your seat because you're already comfortable.

If you are able to stand on public transportation, let someone else who might have a heavier load take your seat. Included in this category would be elderly people, pregnant women, injured people, disabled people, someone holding multiple bags of groceries, and other people in situations. It's just the kind thing to do.

5. Leave your drink unattended.

There are horrible, scary people in this world. You might think that a lot cannot possibly happen in the two minutes you'll take in the bathroom or to find your friend in that crowded room, but it can. Someone could slip drugs (or something worse) in your drink while you're away. So I'm going to repeat it for those in the back of the room: NEVER LEAVE YOUR WATER/SODA/BEER/UMBRELLA COCKTAIL/ANY DRINK UNATTENDED.

6. Go into the shower without flip-flops.

Don't have your share of athlete’s foot. Get a pair of shower shoes for those communal showers typical of first-year residence halls; shower floors can and will be gross when you share them with around 30 other people on your floor.

7. Register for an 8 A.M. class.

Unless it is a class needed for graduation and you have no other way around it, this is absolutely a no. You may think that you started high school at 7:30 A.M. in at least a semi-functioning status, so you’ll be used to this. But you’ll quickly learn this is no longer the case and regret your decision immediately. Just don’t do it.

8. Avoid asking for help.

College is a tough transition for first-year students. It’s normal to not earn marks as high as you did in high school. However, don’t let it become a habit because your grades (and your GPA) do matter to employers. There are often resources like writing centers, tutoring, and study groups available for free through the university. This isn't limited to academics, as there are many resources through your college within your reach, such as career services, counseling centers, and health centers. Don't be afraid to ask for help when you need it!

9. Avoid office hours.

This goes along with #9. Professors hold office hours for a reason: so you can come in with your questions and seek help straight from the source. Going to office hours with prepared questions lets the professor know that you are serious about your performance in the class. Another benefit from going to office hours on a regular basis would be a higher possibility of them writing a letter of recommendation for you because they get to know you after a semester of struggle. If you have another class during your professor’s office hours, ask the professor if you can meet them at another time that works for both of you.

10. Go home every weekend (unless absolutely necessary).

I know homesickness can get to you when first starting college. The first semester can be tough, and you’ll be tempted to make a trip home. Unless you absolutely have to go back to your hometown, try not to. When you are home, you are missing out on chances to meet new people at school and do new things like attending football games, having Sunday brunch at the dining hall with your floormates, and getting involved in student organizations.

You will get the hang of things eventually. Good luck in the upcoming semester!

Cover Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

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5 Tips For Incoming College Freshman

Remember when everyone told you that high school was going to be the best four years of your life.. and then it wasn't? Well now for some of you, comes the BEST and WORST four years of your life. Here's a little bit you need to know in order to be prepared for the eventful year to come.

Scleigh1
Scleigh1
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Yes, believe it or not your parents, friends, and teachers were right. College is SO much different than high school in so many different ways. Luckily, I just survived my freshman year so I was in your place literally a year ago today. Everyone tells you how different college is from high school but they don't tell you how and that's what I'm here for! Lets just start with the 1st difference....

1. A whole new world

You will feel like your in a new world because in a way you are. You will suddenly be surrounded by so many groups of people, new cultures, different lifestyles, different languages, everything is so NEW. Not only are you not going to class with the same people everyday that you have seen in the hall for years but you are going to classes with complete strangers from all over the states and sometimes even the world. You are suddenly going to have to share a room with a stranger or even a best friend which can also lead to some issues. But what is most important to know is that even though you feel alone the first few weeks or even months... trust me so does everyone else, its okay to feel overwhelmed its normal. We all have absolutely no idea what we are doing we are all just pretending like we have somewhat of a plan. I met most of my friends my freshman year through being completely LOST on campus.

2. Making new friends

One thing that you aren't taught how to do in high school or honestly by anyone is how to make friends. I knew most people in my classes throughout high school so when I started college I hardly knew anyone besides my roommate. It definitely took me a while to branch out and start making friends but I had to remind myself to put myself out there and eventually I met some wonderful humans. Remember to always be yourself and you will attract people that WANT to be your friend. It takes time but once again, you are not alone. It will look like people already have their group and stuff but everyone is struggling just as much as you most likely.

3. Responsibilities 

The new responsibilities you will have... get prepared, they will hit you like a truck or at least they did me. You will suddenly be responsible for cleaning your room, doing your laundry, feeding yourself, doing your homework, remembering specific dates, paying bills, honestly the list becomes never ending because you are slowly becoming an adult :(((( I remember a time when I wanted to be an adult, now all i want to do is be in kindergarten taking a nap LOL, Luckily I already was familiar with most of these things as were others im sure but there are also people that haven't had to do some of the things by them selves before which can be overwhelming at times. You will eventually fall into your own personal routine and get your own system going and things will become second nature. Don't be afraid of this, just be prepared in order to have the most stress free incoming year.

4. Academics...

The real reason we are in college in the first place. Yeah, here is where your parents and teachers were right... high school courses and college courses can be either very similar or very different. It honestly depends on what the course is and who your professor is but, for the most part, college courses and professors are much different. Professors do not like to repeat themselves and expect you to remember any important dates they mention. They expect you to write it down, no excuses. In high school you teachers would give you a break but that's not really how college works. Some professors may cut you some slack but most wont. Do NOT waste a professors time and remember that even though you are paying to go to school there, you can get kicked out in a heart beat so don't risk it. Refrain from talking in class, and show up!!! you can miss one thing and the next thing you know you have a 5 page paper due in a few days. Save yourself the stress and just pay attention for the whole 50 minute or hour and a half class you have.

5. Packing 

PACK LIGHTLY!!! I packed so much unnecessary clothes, decorations, etc, that I ended up not needing or never even using. Safe as much space as you can because your dorm room will definitely get cluttered fast and you will accumulate more things throughout the year. So, pack the clothes and decor you NEED. Try your best to not over pack (as hard as it is (; )

6. Homesickness

No one:

Every college student ever: "Ugh I can't wait to go to college I hate living here!"

You know we've all said it but you will most likely get homesick at some point. My house is not far from the College at all and even I still was homesick sometimes. Its one of those things that everyone goes through so remember you are not alone. Luckily, we live in the 21st century too so you can always video chat your fam and send them some love. Its okay to be homesick just try to get more involved and do things you would do if you were at your own house. I always try to bring a few things from home too just to look at and remind myself that I will see my family soon.

Freshman year was difficult for me to adjust to as im sure it was to others, so hopefully you keep these tips in mind this summer as you prepare for your first year of college! I am excited for you all to start this next chapter, welcome to the beginning of adulthood class of 2023!

Scleigh1
Scleigh1

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