2018 finals survival guide


Graphic: Alyssa Johnston

Alyssa Johnston
A good way to keep track of things, is to make or buy a planner and have different sections for months, weeks, and days. This way is called a bullet journal, and it is super customizable and unique for each person.

As the end of the year approaches, finals hover over the minds of students. Finals season is one of the most stressful times of the year for high schoolers and college students. It’s full of bad habits like late-night cramming, eating unhealthy snacks, and refreshing the PowerSchool app far too often. Here are some tips to help ease this stressful time and help you successfully manage your way through finals.

1. Get at least eight hours of sleep.
Teens need at least eight hours of sleep to have their brains reach full capacity. Staying up until 3 a.m. studying can cause the brain to shut down, and most information crammed in won’t be remembered. It is better to get a good night’s sleep than to overstudy and be tired for a test.

2. Eat a good breakfast the morning of the test.
Eating a balanced breakfast of carbs, protein, and either fruits or vegetables will help increase brain and body function. Doctors don’t lie when they say breakfast is the most important meal of the day. The food becomes fuel for the body and also helps wake you up in the morning. Things like eggs, berries, and whole wheat toast are an amazing way to start your day off correctly.

3. Drink plenty of water.
Water helps keep your body hydrated and refreshed for the long periods of time. It also helps keep you alert during the day because of the cool sensations it brings. Water is the healthiest and most natural liquid for your body. It helps fight off sicknesses and will make you less hungry so you won’t stress-eat.

4. Pack healthy snacks to eat during long days.
Healthy snacks that are pre-prepared will allow you to eat things that are good for your body instead of unhealthy snacks like bags of chips and candy. Suggestions include gluten-free pretzels, popcorn, and vegetables with ranch. Check out more healthy snack ideas in the May issue of Newsprint coming out on May 16.

5. Study in sections.
Do not study for math all one day, science the other, and then write a final paper the next day. Space out your studying and plan accordingly. Many times if you study the same subject for hours on end, you will get sick of it and your brain will stop wanting to store the information. Try to study at least three subjects a day for at least an hour each.

6. Make priorities lists.
Know when all of your due dates and test dates are so that you can plan accurately. Keep a running list of papers due, final tests before the actual big test, and other presentations and due dates. This will help you continue to keep a clear mind and not freak out as much when it becomes crunch time.

7. Take breaks often.
Studying for seven hours straight will not help you at all. Study for about 30-45 minutes, then take a 5-10 minute break to stretch, check social media, and get food. This will help you from getting bored and wanting to stop studying earlier. It will also prevent headaches from staring at a book or a screen for too long.

8. Turn off PowerSchool for a couple of days.
Students look at their GPA and grades wondering when the teacher will put that last assignment grade in or drop the lowest test score. This is already a stressful time without the presence of a scale rating your achievements throughout the semester. You can ask a counselor to disable your GPA, or your entire PowerSchool account for a couple of days, or as long as you would like to take a break from it.

9. Delete Netflix, games, and other distraction apps.
When boredom takes over during studying, it is really easy to exit Notability and open up Candy Crush or Netflix and waste hours bingeing your favorite show or getting a new top score. Although it can be painful, deleting all of these apps for a period of time can help when it comes to getting a good grade in the end. It can also be a smart idea to log out of Snapchat, Twitter, and Instagram. This way when you open the app your remember you are supposed to be studying and can then close it again to help resist temptation.

10. Dress for success.
Although it may be fun to come to school in your pajamas for the day, dressing the part is a big component of success. It is all about getting your body ready for battle. Soldiers put on their equipment, doctors put on their scrubs, successful test-takers should put on their classy casual outfit. A cute outfit like jeans and a nice shirt, or even going as far as a dress can make you feel good about yourself and put you in an overall good mood for the test.

Happy studying ladies, and good luck surviving finals season!