Your Finals Week Survival Guide

Your Finals Week Survival Guide

We've reached the light at the end of the tunnel, folks.

The dreaded finals season is finally among us. Whether you have one final or five, this time of the year is hectic and stressful for all. Support your friends, take care of yourself, and most importantly, plan. The more organized you are, the better your headspace will be.

So, here's a step by step guide to help you survive finals week:

1. Set your alarms ahead of time.

If you have an early exam or two, make sure you set all your alarms ahead of time. Don't forget to also set alarms for those days you've put aside for studying.

2. Get some rest.

When there's so much information to learn, but so little time, it's easy to think pulling an all-nighter is a good idea. But it's not. It's definitely not.

3. Drink coffee, but more importantly, drink water.

Coffee is a godsend during this time, but if you're drinking three or four cups a day, don't forget to stay hydrated as well. Dehydration can cause grogginess, headaches, and dizziness.

4. Start the day off with a balanced breakfast.

Some ideas include scrambled eggs and toast, avocado toast, peanut butter toast, a smoothie, oatmeal or yogurt.

5. Write down everything.

After you've had your morning cup of coffee and some food, start your day off by writing down your to-do list. Make sure you prioritize, listing the subject you're having the most trouble with at the top (or the exam that's tomorrow). However, the key to surviving finals week is to take everything day by day, so make sure your to-do list isn't for the entire week!

6. Organize your calendar.

This is where you can lay out everything you have to do for the whole week. With a visual representation, you'll have a better idea of what to expect and can cross days off as needed.

7. Read your textbooks.

This doesn't apply to every class, as some professors do not teach from textbooks. However, if your professor has been assigning readings or bases lectures off of chapters in the book, you'll definitely want to read up on everything.

8. Create outlines or study guides from your class notes.

Chances are, your class notes include the most important information, especially if your professor repeatedly brought up certain topics. One of my favorite ways to study includes making study guides. You can also write down some questions that you anticipate will be on the exam. My professor last semester had us to do in order to "get inside his head," and it was really helpful.

9. Make flashcards or lists.

Flashcards are not everyone's favorite, but if you need to memorize definitions, they're not a bad choice.

10. Rewrite the most important points.

If you need to memorize definitions, certain facts, or main ideas, rewrite these as much as you can. Apparently, writing something down once is the same as reading it seven times.

11. Write down any questions you have.

If you're missing some of your notes, or certain concepts still aren't clear, write down your questions or concerns so you remember to go back to that information later.

12. Study with someone.

Studying with a partner is beneficial in so many ways. Sometimes, explaining concepts out loud can help you better understand them and memorize them yourself. You can also have your friend explain lessons to you in different ways, or have him or her answer any questions you may have.

13. Get answers to your questions.

Ask friends who have taken the course before, reach out to current classmates or go to your professor's office.

14. Review everything at night.

I don't know the scientific reason behind this, but sleeping and memory retention go hand in hand. Whether it's the night before your exam, or you're studying way in advance, make sure you review all your notes before bed.

15. Repeat.

Repeat these steps as needed.

16. Ace it.

Have some confidence!

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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.

I cannot wait to watch my precious nephew grow into the amazing person that I know he is going to be.

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The One Thing Everyone Should Do Before They Graduate

Why I wish everyone could have shared in my end of school adventure.


The end of freshman year was filled with the abundant stress of final exams, teary-eyed goodbyes, and last looks at my dorm room on South Campus. The academic year was overwhelmingly busy, and I tried my best to soak in every single moment as a first-year college student. But as I'm sure many of you can understand, it's not always possible to make time for the adventures we so desperately desire. I found myself saying "I want to do that!" all year long, and here it was the last week of the year and my bucket list had barely been touched. All those Philadelphia excursions, dreamy coffee shop dates, and campus explorations that I looked forward to never ended up panning out…

… until last Thursday night.

With about half the freshman class moved out of South Campus, everything felt a little strange. There was barely a dinner rush at all in Donahue Dining Hall, and my room looked so empty it almost made me sad. Naturally, I called up a couple of friends. Within minutes, we met in the lounge, and we were off for our adventure.

Every single day on the way to labs in Mendel Hall, I walked past the beloved Falvey Fountain. It had become such a consistent part of my routine that walking past it felt like it was a necessary daily occurrence. But this time, we didn't walk past. In fact, we stopped dead in our tracks and admired its color changing beauty for a brief moment.

And then we dove in!

Yes, we jumped right into the fountain. First the daring adventurer of the group, then his sidekick, then the skeptic, and finally myself. This was definitely not allowed, but no one was around, and more importantly, no one cared. Being knee deep was freezing, but the adrenaline rush was too much to suppress. So we submerged further, dunking each other and splashing the icy water literally everywhere. My wet hair made way for the most epic hair flip of all time, and we all laughed joyously.

All the stress of looming final grades and the completion of projects, the bittersweet goodbyes to our newfound families, and the hassles of packing up for the year were washed away in that fountain, drowned in the euphoria of the moment. We were officially baptized in summer as it dubbed us the kings and queens of adventure.

Afterward, we wrung out our soaking clothes and snapped a quick pic of our drenched selves. Trying to escape the scene hastily, I dropped my bag of M&M;'s. They spilled everywhere, leaving streams of melty chocolate and food coloring running through the aftermath of our fountain dive. The scene looked like a bit of Willy Wonka's chocolate factory had exploded from the fountain and into the night.

I am far from kidding when I say that adventure is a must for everyone, at any stage of life. Whether it's fountain diving at Nova, or sky diving in New Mexico, something about us as human beings needs the unusual, exciting, and even hazardous experiences. This one was particularly cleansing and absolutely unforgettable.

So I implore you: go forth this summer and be adventurous! Explore hidden places, try new eats, shuffle a stranger's playlist, introduce yourself to someone on a whim, or just get in the car and drive with no destination in mind. This summer is for the bold; this summer's for you.

Happy adventuring!


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