Getting Through the Last Weeks of School

Northwest Pearls: Beating Senioritis My best friend asked me to do a post on getting through the last few weeks of school. She has senioritis. Bad. And her solution so far has been to drink "8+ cups of coffee a day" and to watch "Disney movies while doing homework to distract from the pain."

While totally admirable there may be other, better, ways to get through the last weeks of school. (And if you're going to graduate school, your grades matter so you can't check out.)

  • Start studying before finals week. That way you don't have to cram everything in.
  • Don't drink too much. It'll affect you the next day and probably won't be worth it.
  • Find something to relieve stress such as exercising, a massage, hanging out with friends, etc. Anytime I get stressed I know that a workout on the elliptical or a good run will help me out.
  • Have fun. It's your last bit of school and chances are you won't see these people very often from now on. Treasure your friendships.
  • Reward your studying with treats such as sweets or an episode of a show. At the end of every quarter, my bff gets a celebratory cupcake. It's something to look forward to and a light at the end of the tunnel.
  • Find the best place for you to study. You may like solitude and silence or you may like the lounge. But find a good place that you can concentrate.
  • Study in groups if that works for you. It can be fun and can help a lot.
  • Take care of yourself mentally and physically.
  • Keep your notes organized. Title, date, and add page numbers to them.

Now, to be honest, I figured out that I had a high enough GPA and knew enough of the material that I could somewhat check out for the last bit of school and still graduate with honors. I'm a good test taker and I have a pretty good memory in regards to schoolwork (I had also re-read certain textbooks throughout the semester so I would retain the knowledge) so I spent about 2.5 hours studying during finals week (I probably should have spent at least 10-15 hours studying.) But I decided that spending time with friends was more important to me than finals. My decision worked well for me. I still graduated with honors and I spent time with friends. Although, I did get lucky, the stuff I studied ended up being on the test while the stuff I didn't study wasn't. (How often does that happen?!)

And while I wouldn't recommend what I did for everyone, it did work out for me and if you know you can do it too without any consequences, it might be worth it.

Sadly there's no cure to senioritis, you just have to keep yourself motivated and in the best spirits to keep on going. You're almost there!

Have you found any helpful ways to battle senioritis?

Studying for Finals

Studying for Finals; books, drink, and food.


Finals week is almost upon the students. So what do I think are some of the best ways to study for finals?

  • Re-read the books and materials. Or at least scan them. I'm not kidding. Make sure you have a thorough understanding of what was in the books. I re-read so many textbooks for finals. It was tough, but worth it. I also made sure to read them well the first time so the second time wasn't so stressful.
  • Go over your notes. Your teacher mentioned these things in class so they're most likely important.
  • Make a study-guide or memorize the content of the one your teacher made.
  • Write things you need to know out by hand. In my opinion, writing by hand is better than typing it out.
  • Memorize. Memorize like crazy. Make up jingles or rhymes or acronyms for things. Acronyms helped me the most, although I can still remember part of a jingle I made up from an art test in high school.
  • Get together with classmates to study. Quiz each other. Go over notes. Make sure you all know everything on the study guide your teacher gave you (if you're lucky enough to have a study guide.)
  • Eat healthy.
  • Drink enough water.
  • Don't forget to laugh.
  • Get enough sleep.

Do you know of any other study tips to add?

I Changed My Major the First Day of College

The first day of classes in my junior year, my second year of college, and my first year at a four-year University, I changed my major. I had done one year of Community college because I didn't know what to study, and it was cheaper than a four-year school. During that year, while I saved money, I didn't figure out what I wanted to do, but it allowed me to take more prerequisites, so that by the time I got to a four-year school, I was mostly taking classes in my major.

I wanted a good job, but all of the careers that guaranteed a job and higher income right out of college, didn't seem interesting to me.

So I settled on being an elementary teacher. I knew that the pay left something huge to be desired, but I would be able to find a job. That was my declared major for my junior year.

About twenty minutes into the first day of class (it was a elementary teaching class), while the teacher was still going over the syllabus, I decided to switch my major. I sat through the whole hour and a half class so as not to be rude, and while I sat there, I brainstormed what other major I could study. I settled on Communications because it sounded interesting, and I had a friend doing it and he liked it.

So as soon as class ended, I called my mom, told her, called my advisor, left a message with her, then went straight to the registrar's office. I am one of the few people who switch their major the first day of classes. So we switched my classes around, made a schedule that was more general/communication oriented, and took out all of the teaching classes. My advisor (who was a transfer advisor and not focused on only students of her department) got back to me, and I told her that I was a Communications major.

My reasoning was that Communications was something interesting to me, and that I could change my major again. People changed their major lots of times. I never did. I stayed with it and I loved it.

And while part of me still wishes I had dome computer science or engineering, I think that it's important to like what you study/do. I could never convince myself to study something for the money. Though I do wish I had desired to do something that paid well/had lots of job openings, I probably made the right choice. Besides, it's not very productive to go against God's plan, and with how bad I tried to get myself to major in something like materials engineering or electrical engineering but still couldn't, I was probably meant to be a Communication major.

So my advice to you, is to study something that you can see yourself doing for the next forty-fifty years.

Phones and Conversation Quality

Having quality conversations with people is great. But that  requires not being distracted. One thing that is easily distracting is your phone. Through it you can connect with friends, see what's on sale, and work. But it also may lead to a decrease in conversation quality, as well as other things, according to a study done by Przybylski and Weinstein found here. Just having a phone in sight could negatively affect your conversation. (I came across this while writing a speech about whether or not technology is good or bad for interpersonal communication.) Since I've known about this study, I've made a conscious decision to put my phone away at the table or when with friends. Sometimes I make a conscious decision to keep it out because I'm waiting on something, but I feel a bit guilty that I'm doing it when I know better. And other times I  forget that I should put it away. But it's something to keep in mind. Putting your phone away can help lead to more meaningful conversations.

What do you think about putting your phone away?