5 Ways To Survive Finals Week, College Edition

5 Ways To Survive Finals Week, College Edition

Don't take it personally if these tips don't work for you. Everyone is different.


Finals week is easily the most stressful time of a college students' career. It's crunch time. Professors and instructors are finalizing grades, not rounding up for anyone (even though I wish they would). Everyone is anticipating the upcoming break and, at least for me, that's what all the focus is on. Exam week is honestly so hectic, and everyone is on edge. The only thing that ever gets me through the week is that I know it's only a couple more days until a really long break. Here are some things that help me have a successful exam week.

1. Sleep is essential.

First things first, you HAVE TO get enough sleep. I know some people like to stay up all night because they think it will help them remember all the information they need to know for their exam. I hate to break it you, but that's a big fat lie. You will feel so drained and uninvolved. Believe me, I have done it before and it sucks. If you normally get 5 or fewer hours of sleep per night, it would be in your best judgment to shoot for maybe 6 or more hours. I promise you that you will wake up feeling great and prepared to take on that exam.

2. Eat something for breakfast. 

If you're anything like me, you skip breakfast every single morning and use coffee as a meal replacement. If you care about yourself or your grades at all, you will eat before that test. Something as little as a PopTart or a granola bar will make you feel full and give you more energy for what you need to get done.

3. Set many alarms.

Even if you wake up easily to one alarm every morning, set more than one. It is a very big deal to be late to a final or, worst case scenario, miss it entirely. You will be frazzled showing up late, so just do yourself the favor and set more alarms. There also is an app available on the App Store called Alarmy, and it makes you do little puzzles to turn the alarm off, so you have to actually get your brain working first thing in the morning. I used it for my first exam week ever and I woke up around 7 for a very important exam that I studied so hard for and I used Alarmy that morning, and I made myself do simple math problems to turn the alarm off.


There may be only one thing that you take from these tips, and I hope it's this. If you think you know the material for your final, study it again. And after you've studied it for a second time, study it once more. There is no limit on studying and it will really benefit you after the fact. I know everyone is so stressed out during finals week and everything is jumbled, but don't let your stress get in the way from you doing well on an exam. Any amount of studying will help you, just don't spend an hour looking over things that you aren't retaining or that won't help you on the exam that you will take.

5. Relax (not in the "lay in your bed" relaxing) 

It is so easy to get carried away in the stress of the last week before a break. Take study breaks every so often. Go grab a coffee or a hearty meal. Don't beat yourself up about taking an exam or worry yourself that you won't do well on it. As long as you are giving your ultimate, best effort, you will succeed. I know the overwhelming feelings of exams and how they affect students but take heart in knowing that you are not alone in feeling stressed out. It'll all work out for you.

Please take these tips as they are and if something doesn't work for you, try a different method. Everyone deserves to do well on exams after an entire semester of strenuous coursework. Good look on your exams this semester and have a great break.

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So, You Want To Be A Nurse?

You're going to find that nursing isn't really about the medicine or the assessments. Being a nurse is so much more than anything that you can learn in school. Textbooks can't teach you compassion and no amount of lecture time will teach you what it truly means to be a nurse.


To the college freshman who just decided on nursing,

I know why you want to be a nurse.

Nurses are important. Nursing seems fun and exciting, and you don't think you'll ever be bored. The media glorifies navy blue scrubs and stethoscopes draped around your neck, and you can't go anywhere without hearing about the guaranteed job placement. You passed AP biology and can name every single bone in the human body. Blood, urine, feces, salvia -- you can handle all of it with a straight face. So, you think that's what being a nurse is all about, right? Wrong.

You can search but you won't find the true meaning of becoming a nurse until you are in the depths of nursing school and the only thing getting you through is knowing that in a few months, you'll be able to sign the letters "BSN" after your name...

You can know every nursing intervention, but you won't find the true meaning of nursing until you sit beside an elderly patient and know that nothing in this world can save her, and all there's left for you to do is hold her hand and keep her comfortable until she dies.

You'll hear that one of our biggest jobs is being an advocate for our patients, but you won't understand until one day, in the middle of your routine physical assessment, you find the hidden, multi-colored bruises on the 3-year-old that won't even look you in the eyes. Your heart will drop to your feet and you'll swear that you will not sleep until you know that he is safe.

You'll learn that we love people when they're vulnerable, but you won't learn that until you have to give a bed bath to the middle-aged man who just had a stroke and can't bathe himself. You'll try to hide how awkward you feel because you're young enough to be his child, but as you try to make him feel as comfortable as possible, you'll learn more about dignity at that moment than some people learn in an entire lifetime.

Every class will teach you about empathy, but you won't truly feel empathy until you have to care for your first prisoner in the hospital. The guards surrounding his room will scare the life out of you, and you'll spend your day knowing that he could've raped, murdered, or hurt people. But, you'll walk into that room, put your fears aside, and remind yourself that he is a human being still, and it's your job to care, regardless of what he did.

Each nurse you meet will beam with pride when they tell you that we've won "Most Trusted Profession" for seventeen years in a row, but you won't feel that trustworthy. In fact, you're going to feel like you know nothing sometimes. But when you have to hold the sobbing, single mother who just received a positive breast cancer diagnosis, you'll feel it. Amid her sobs of wondering what she will do with her kids and how she's ever going to pay for treatment, she will look at you like you have all of the answers that she needs, and you'll learn why we've won that award so many times.

You'll read on Facebook about the nurses who forget to eat and pee during their 12-hour shifts and swear that you won't forget about those things. But one day you'll leave the hospital after an entire shift of trying to get your dying patient to eat anything and you'll realize that you haven't had food since 6:30 A.M. and you, too, will be one of those nurses who put everything else above themselves.

Too often we think of nursing as the medicine and the procedures and the IV pumps. We think of the shots and the bedpans and the baths. We think all the lab values and the blood levels that we have to memorize. We think it's all about the organs and the diseases. We think of the hospitals and the weekends and the holidays that we have to miss.

But, you're going to find that nursing isn't really about the medicine or the assessments. Being a nurse is so much more than anything that you can learn in school. Textbooks can't teach you compassion, and no amount of lecture time will teach you what it truly means to be a nurse.

So, you think you want to be a nurse?

Go for it. Study. Cry. Learn everything. Stay up late. Miss out on things. Give it absolutely everything that you have.

Because I promise you that the decision to dedicate your life to saving others is worth every sleepless night, failed test, or bad day that you're going to encounter during these next four years. Just keep holding on.


The nursing student with just one year left.

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Trying to figure out what to do in life.


I never saw the crossroad

Where I could cross n' roam

Under an arch or dome. [1]

I just kept on the road

That was laid out,

Told to hold out

Till it pays out. [2]

Now I think its too late

Been walking too long,

Classes are all wrong

But masses too strong. [3]

So I follow with my head down

And chest up, succeeding cause

I'm too scared to fuck it up. [4]

But I have a need to lead,

Top-down and gears up

Leaving nothing to the dust.

But if I drop out, I'm a fuck up. [5]

Is it better to live and rust

Or drive till it busts

With trust you can find the way? [6]

[1] - Play on roam/Rome. Starts the poem by expressing the feeling of being trapped in my path in life. I felt like I never got the chance to figure out what I wanted to do.

[2] - I think a lot of it was I was following what people told me I should be doing.

[3] - I have a feeling that it is too late to change my course of life. I'm in a college for business, taking classes about business, and everyone around me wants to do business.

[4] - This is saying that even though I am not passionate about what I am doing I am still trying to succeed only because I'm scared of failing or quitting.

[5] - I want to leave and lead myself, do something where I'm not following but I don't know how to do that. This part starts a car reference, idk I've been watching Formula 1 on Netflix and its dope.

[6] - This is the question I've been asking myself, wondering if I should continue on with my path or follow my passion.

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