Coffee, pencils, blue books and scantrons. All necessities when it comes to the oh-so-dreaded….Hell Week. I mean… Finals Week. This particular week comes just twice a year, (or three for those brave souls that take on summer classes). Some of you may already be done with finals, others may be stressing over the next few weeks still but regardless of where you are in the semester tips and tricks never hurt year round.
Some people are born great, some people become great and others, like me, can’t focus for at least 5 minutes on how to get xy variables and long division.
If you don’t Pintrest, do you even live in the 21st century? Come on millineals, I can’t be the only searching up Study Tips for Finals in College or How to Pass and Be Smart While Doing a Minimal Amount of Work. While browsing through Pintrest I could never find just a standard quick study tips and tricks that I didn’t already know of or they just weren’t very useful at all. Let’s be real, ain’t nobody got time to sit around and read articles all day about study tips, our brains are fried enough as it is. Personally, I’m a visual person and pictures make a HUGE difference for me. So, without further ado…here are some quick tips and tricks to make hell.. I mean finals week a little less brutal. Everyones college study flow is different so, please refer to my contact page and you can email/dm me your finals week study tips & tricks! I would love to hear from you and maybe catch a few new things I haven’t tried.
Buy one in every color.
Pens, pencils, sharpies, highlighters and gel pens will save your life. For those of you who have OCD, pretend to have OCD or even those of you who WISH you were more anal… color coding makes a world of a difference. Buy one of each color. We all have that one pen/pencil that makes our handwriting look flawless; so pick a brand and stick to it. Your brain will be a thousand times more content when you are confident in your writing tools. Here is an example of some of my notes I take in class and the pens I use to do it. Highlighting has never caught my attention and let’s face it.. I’m a girly girl; so being able to switch out my pens and use pretty colors while having semi-nice handwriting with it helps motivate me to take notes and actually pay attention. Pretty colors=pretty notes=happy me=good grades. It’s a ripple affect people.
You’re never to old for picture books.
Some lectures can be really boring and some professors leave long pauses in between presenting. Common side affects of the pauses can lead to boredness (if that’s even a word), sleepiness, and distractions. If you’re not one of those people who sit in the front row and have all eyes upfront, you know exactly what I’m talking about. During these pauses/discussions if it’s a GE class that you couldn’t give two you know what’s about then these pauses really mean.. TIME TO CHECK MY SOCIAL MEDIA BECAUSE YOU LOST ME PROFESSOR. Doodle. In between your notes draw a little doodle about your notes that relate to the topic you are discussing in class. It will help you keep your mind on topic and not distract you with the latest Kardashian scandal.
Study in a public setting.
If you are anything like me and you find it physically, mentally and emotionally impossible to study at home, GO OUT. I have tried countless times to study in the comfort of my home and instead all I can think about is the pile of laundry sitting in front of me, or how dirty my sink is. There are two different types of distractions: private and public. Private distractions are based in the home environment. Such as, noisy kids, parents, pets, uncleaned rooms, dishes, chores, etc. Public distractions are moving cars, loud conversations, and the typical hussle and bussle of a public setting. For whatever reason, these public distractions are far more appealing to me then the private ones. For one, I can’t fall asleep in public, I don’t have to worry about chores or whatever mess there is because I can sit down, order some coffee, plug in my headphones to my favorite Spotify playlist and really concentrate. I feel more forced to focus. As far as I know, most Denny’s are open 24/7 and Starbucks as well. These are perfect spots to pack up, unwind, center your mind, and knock out whatever assignment you probably waited last minute to do.
We are all guilty of some form of procrastination. It’s okay. Just make sure if you are going to procrastinate you have essential items to either keep you up, keep you focused and get your s*%! done on time. For me, my essentials are coffee, cold water, a fan and Spotify. Silence the group chat and get ‘er done.
Documentaries are a source.
Number five won’t apply for all assignments and of course it varies by professor. But usually PBS is a great source that even professors will use to help make a topic become more relatable and help you to visually understand the not-so-exciting topic you are about to be lectured on. Here are some of my favorite documentaries that really helped me in a few of my classes. Most can be found on YouTube. But.. BEWARE. A good rule of thumb, is to ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS double check with a professor and make sure the documentary you are viewing is accurate to the topic in question. If you are more of a visual learner it can help you grasp and study while stil retaining valuable information. Think of it like this… If you can remember quotes from Step Brothers… you can remember quotes from a documentary.
Stop buying a notebook for each class.
Stirctly speaking from personal experience, stop buying a notebook for each class. I used to think I was soooooooo organized because I had a seperate colored notebook for each class. Honestly, it’s not worth the hassle. The negatives are as follows, bulky backpack, you WILL forget a notebook at some point on an important day when you need it, and its just an all around hastle. If you prefer to take notes on paper vs. a laptop or a tablet then go out and buy yourself a five subject notebook. Post-It makes these great sticky tabs that you can label off each section and easily flip to whatever class notes you need to refer to. I color code mine and I have never run out of room in a semester. It makes it SO much easier to just carry around one notebook for all classes and keeps your classes/notes organized.
Yes, you need a planner.
Whether it’s Google Calender, iCalender or a super cute tumblr worthy planner you found at Target; you need it. Color code it, organize it and live by it. Most college students work not just one but two or even three jobs with a full-time school load. In order to stay well-rounded and keep your attendance on time.. you NEED some way to organize your life events. Birthday parties, school events, due dates, coffee dates, work schedule.. it should ALL be in your planner. Even if you’re too lazy to color code it, write it down. It will make a world of a difference. TJ Maxx, Marshalls, Walmart and Target all sell really cute, stylish and affordable planners. Personally, I keep my life on my Google Calender and a physical planner just in case I forget one or the other. You can even find free printable planners on pintrest, buy a binder and voila! There are so many different creative ways to stay organized.