Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Finals Week: Unmasked And Defeated

   That time of the year is upon us again, that dreaded time where life seems to get super hectic and everything that is due seems to be pressing you into a corner, the end of the school year will always do that to you. Though this post is targeted to those that are going through finals right now, we feel that some of the advice given here can be applied to all aspects of life, in fact isn't that the most important lesson we learn in school, how to survive life, so sit tight and we'll lead you through some steps one can take to make this period seem less monstrous. Some of this advice might seem like common sense but they are things that are generally not talked about or shared, but learned through sweat and tears, thus we decided to save you the burden of going through that and compiled some of it here for you.


   Like the song goes, just breathe. Take a deep breath and understand that this is a passing time, that you have fought all year for this end goal and that now in these next two weeks all your work will come together and this race will be won. We all know what it feels like to burn out, specially on the last few weeks of class, everyone has been through that, but remember that this is the time where burning out is not an option, you can do this, set your mind on the goal which is to finish this race right and push through it with all of your might, two weeks are but fleeting moments and will soon pass away. So take a deep breath, remember all that you have accomplished this far and fight on, finish the race right, and don't give in to fatigue. Just don't forget to breathe.


   Two words, time management, those two words will save your life. Sit down and write down a schedule of everything you have due for the coming weeks, including work schedules, tests and final papers. Now make sure to include at least 6-8 hours of sleep within each day, if you cannot then at least include some naps throughout the day where you'll be able to get some rest. Make sure to also include at least 2-3 hours of leisure time in there, "me" time is important, very important, if you don't remember to have some "me" time throughout your day you will surely burn out, depending on the person the burn out could happen after a day, a week or even a month but it will come. Time management is an important tool in life, specially when dealing with multiple overwhelming tasks. Remember to rest, if you are not rested than the work you produce will show it, trust.


   We all have our strengths and weaknesses, there are people out there that can do things with math that we have never even dreamed of, while at the same time though they might be great at math they can't play an instrument to save their life, we all have strengths and weaknesses the first step to preparing for a successful finals week is acknowledging what your weakness is. Find your worst subject and focus more time on that than the other ones you are taking. The key thing here is to not focus all of your time to that subject, this is a temptation many have, you should always focus on everything you have due, the "whole" is important, remember that. So when scheduling how much study time you are going to invest in each subject make sure to invest 2-4 hours more on that tough one, but at the same time remember to not neglect your other courses, fight this temptation and finish well in all subjects.


    You are not alone, this is a key thing to remember. Sometimes people let the emotional stress of the situation get the best of them, and they forget that there are people around them that are going through the same struggles they are, these people are not your enemies but your allies, with their aid you can surpass your limits and do better than you would if you tried to do everything alone. Here is fact of life, even the most brilliant genius out there had teachers along the way guiding him, without their help he would not and could not become a genius, all it takes is asking for help and having the willingness to learn. The key word here is teachable, if you take on a teachable spirit and ask for aid people will aid you, and through their aid you will accomplish more than you would have alone. Don't be scared to ask for help.


    One of the biggest mistakes you see people committing all the time throughout their education is the "cram before exam" motif. Though we'll hand it to you that taking a few hours extra to review over material before the exam is a good thing though that time should be a time of review not of seeing the material for the first time, that's just bad form. The best and easiest way to do well on exams is to study in 30 min to 2 hour segments. Spacing out the time you study instead of cramming all that time together will aid you remember the material better and prevent burn out. Throughout the week take an hour or so to study really hard, then move on to something else, repeat this process for all your subjects and you'll easily get 8-10 hours of study time that week on one given subject. Instead of taking one day to memorize everything you are spacing things out, studying more efficiently and the plus side is that you'll be way better prepared for your final than if you just crammed the night before. Spacing time between studies will save you from burning out and having the pre-exam stress out, that's studying 101.


  A very common habit, and a huge misconception is that overdosing in caffeine will aid you in studying. This could give you an illusion of grandeur and maybe even you'll remember enough to do well on the test due to a caffeine driven all-nighter study session, but two things happen after a caffeine overdose, the first thing is that your body will suffer for it big time, specially in the future but the most important thing is that you won't remember anything you studied in the long run. If you care about what you studying and take your material seriously then you won't subject your body and mind to this kind of treatment, it might get you through some tough calls but it won't help you in the long run when that material is needed and you don't remember any of it. Better to take your time learning and retain the material than to have a caffeine overdose and only learn the material for the test, your body will thank you later.

   We hope that this post will aid some of you out there, and just maybe help you find some peace during this turbulent season. We hope you all have been having a great week and pray that it might end well. 

Love from your humble blogger,

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