McKenzie Ross by McKenzie Ross

If you’re anything like me, this is the week you’ve got “Survivor” (s/o Yoncé) on a constant loop in your head, ready to catch those elusive A’s. Yet all you really seem motivated to do is lay in bed with your dearest friends: Netflix, Tumblr, and Pinterest. But desire does not an A make.

“But how do I avoid the entrancing snare of the Internet?!?,” you cry.

Not to worry, there’s an app for that. The appropriately titled OSX app “Self Control” allows you to block your best procrastination aids (Facebook, I’m looking at you) for as long as you need while still allowing access to the rest of the Internet. Similarly, if you’re the type to alternate between your text book and your phone every five minutes, apps like “Focus Lock” for android will help keep you off your phone.

My next tip makes use of a timeless cliché: Location, Location, Location. Move to an environment far from the allure of your bed. Romance yourself a little, take yourself on a study date. Go out to your favorite coffee spot, buy yourself a latte or some tea and start checking off that to-do list. By making an event out of studying you’re more likely to actually do the studying you promised yourself you’d do, even if your fluffy pillows and warm blankets are calling your name. The Valley Library is a wonderful resource, however, it tends to become over crowded during finals week. So avoid spending more time looking for a table than doing any actual studying. Checkout the Beth Ray Center for Student Success or choose a local business like Interzone or The Beanery.

Your next question might be “If I’m not on Insta, what will I do when I actually need to take a break?” My first suggestion would be to AVOID THE INTERNET. “Unplug” as adults call it. Do something active, take a walk, ride your bike, dance to the new Bruno Mars song. The last thing you need is a two-hour Twitter-fest to ruin all of your productivity. This time to recharge is crucial; becoming one with your couch feels good in the moment but may leave you more lethargic than before.

Lastly, take a deep breath. The end is in sight. I’ll leave you with Beyoncé’s motivational words and a picture of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg, otherwise known as the Notorious RBG.

Happy Studying.



Melissa Salmeri     by Mel Salmeri

There is no away around the dreaded finals week but there are ways to help you get through it.

I’m sure you’ve heard this plenty but it is incredibly true when people tell you to get a good night’s rest before a test. It has been proven that staying up all night trying to study is no better than not studying all the material and getting some shut eye. In order to keep yourself from the anxiety of not having enough time to study all you need to learn is how to manage your time. Your planner could be your best friend during this time. Make a list of everything you need to get done or classes you need to study for, then make another of what you are going to accomplish that day. This way you are able to cross off, hopefully, the majority of that days list and feel productive. A long list can seem very daunting, so save the belly ache and start small. For many there are several late nights or all day study sessions and it seems like you have no time for other things. My best advice is do not neglect your stomach! Bring snacks or pack easy meals to make sure you have it when you need it. There is nothing more distracting than a grumbling stomach; for you and for others. Again it’s not a lie that you and your mind do better when fueled up and ready to retain all the numbers and words you’re about to be staring at for hours. When you take care of yourself, mentally and physically, you’re much more likely to be successful.

Now that I have covered the basics, let’s talk about some not so mainstream tips. By now most of us should have found that one thing that you have to do every now and then to distress and make yourself slow down. If you haven’t yet, not to worry, I have faith you will. If you’re a freshmen or new at the whole finals week thing don’t sweat it, you have time to figure it out. To give you an example, my distressor is getting into comfy clothes, lighting my favorite vanilla candles, and turning on my Christmas lights. There is nothing more calming or serene to me than that. It makes me slow down, think more clearly and relax. I become much more productive and efficient after doing all of that. Another tip would be for you coffee drinkers out there. Every once in a while treat yourself to your favorite coffee because we all know Starbucks and Dutch Brothers is an expensive college student habit. However, sometimes a brewed coffee from home just isn’t going to be the boost you need and everyone deserves a treat. It doesn’t have to stop there though, for you non coffee drinkers the same tip applies to you. Treat yourself to your favorite meal or snack, it’s amazing what eating you favorite comfort food can do to your finals week moral. Keeping yourself happy is probably the most beneficial way to invest your time and money.

The most important thing to remember and live by during this time of stress is that eventually it will all be over. Remember that your hard work will pay off and if it doesn’t, at least you can say you did your best and move on. No matter how long you’ve done this whole college finals thing each person learns something new about themselves every round. No one is an expert at how to be best prepared or best survive it but you can learn how to manage and find things that help you get through the dreadful time. Also remember that there are so many other individual’s going through the same thing as you, so you are never alone in this. So just do your best and try; key word try, not to worry too much.