Monday, 10 December 2012

Surviving the Final Countdown.

Reading week. Essay week. Finals week. Thisissoimpossibleweek. For me this treacherous journey began last Friday, burdened by an impressive pile to-do's/must-do's/for-the-love-of-God-please-do's.

Monday, 3rd December: Learning journals due (worth 25% of one module)

Wednesday, 5th December: 3000 word Poetry Essay due (worth a whopping 75% of one module)

Friday, 7th December:

  • 3000 word Historical Novel essay due (75% of one module)
  • 2500 word Environmental Management essay due (60% of one module)
  • Online MCQ (worth 25% of one module) between the hours of 9am-3pm.

As you can imagine, I'm a smidgen under pressure this week. (So why are you updating your blog, Laura?)
But, I bring to you my advice for the final weeks of the semester in college/university.

  1. Be prepared. Seriously, do your essays as soon as you get them, invest love and time in to them, glow when you get that A- when you get your results back in January. Try to not leave everything to the last minute (see my schedule above for reference), even if that involves cutting out your must have installment of Made in Chelsea, New Girl, Breaking Bad or whatever the kids are watching these days. You have over a month (well, I do) of holidays when you finish your exams, that is more than adequate time to catch up on your favourite TV.
  2. See your lecturers and tutors during office hours, if they offer them. Ask them to explain a concept you don't understand. Who knows, sometimes they'll "guide" you in the right area of study.
  3. Add the "Stayfocused" extension to Google Chrome (don't have Google Chrome? For shame!) or similar programs such as "Cold Turkey". Be ruthless, block Youtube, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Pinterest, The Huffington Post and any other site you spend time on which is not college related. (Except Google and Wikipedia, that's just silliness, how else will you understand that reference they're talking about in that elective..?!) Unless you've stumbled across some amazing career I haven't yet heard of, faffing around on youtube or creeping on your friend's ex-boyfriend's new girlfriend will not get you a great job (or good grades)
  4. Try to eat healthily up to this point and during, if you can. You need good nutrition for this, you're going to be on limited sleep for the next few weeks. Chocolate can only do so much, my friend.
  5. Get a highlighter and some flashcards. Highlight the mains points in your notes. Write the things you're struggling to remember on flashcards. Stick these up in places you'll see (mirror in bathroom while brushing your teeth perhaps?)
  6. Write out things you can't remember as if you were doing a cheat sheet. Do this several times. BAM, no need for cheat sheet, you know it now! I do not condone cheating, but if you do it don't get caught!
  7. Write a little study schedule for yourself. If it's study week and you have no essays due then pop a few tea breaks and walks in your schedule. If you've got a fabulous, fun filled essay week like mine above then I'd leave the walks and tea, you need to be cracking into it, missus!
  8. Don't let hygiene go out the window. So many people disregard their need to shower over the study week. Please shower, you're doing us all a favour.
  9. It's OK to be a little slacked on appearance this week. However, remember that you will be almost guaranteed to run into several people you wished to not see this week. That guy you like in your lecture? There. Bitchy ex housemate? There. Your ex's new gf? There. Your ex? Everywhere. Just please don't leave the house in your pyjamas. In your delirious state you may think this is a completely acceptable thing to do "they kind of look like a tracksuit.." I warn you now, leaving the house in pyjamas is never acceptable. Unless you're dying or something.
  10. Sleep. Sleep. Sleep. Pre-exams you need to be sleeping. Get a good 6-8 hours of sleep the night before your exam. You will not remember all your valuable study if you're snoozing at the desk in the exam hall.
  11. Accept the fact that you'll be on a semi-permanent caffeine buzz all week. "Red bull, let's be having ya."
  12. When you finish your last exam cartwheel out of the hall, catch up on your much needed zzzzz's and head out for a crazy night on the town, you deserve it.
Good luck everybody! I may be away for the next week or so, but I send out my love and Christmas wishes.

Love Laura

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