It’s that time of year again, folks. The students’ exhausted moans echo through the air, Java City and Starbucks are handing out caffeine like there’s no tomorrow and Blackboard is blowing up more than Twitter. It’s time for finals.
And because studying for finals feels a little like preparing for battle or a wild and slightly terrifying adventure, we’ve compiled a survival guide. (Think “Naked and Afraid” with the one survival item you’re allowed — except here, we’re all clothed and have lots of tools available.)
Too obvious you say? You’d be surprised. So often students try to get by using only the Internet and notes from class. While these are certainly important, don’t underestimate the power of your actual textbooks. Even if they haven’t been used much in class, a quick skim of key chapters could definitely be helpful on test day.
2. Coffee (or tea)
This item is so crucial it comes above notebooks, pens and even your laptop. Getting through study sessions can be rough, especially after a long day. Give yourself an extra boost by picking up a hot cup of joe at Java City or a nice black tea at Starbucks. According to the signs around both Helm Library and Cravens Graduate Center and Library, a drink is OK as long as it has a lid, so arm yourself with some extra energy just in case.
Another obvious but key item is your laptop. It will be a major help for giving you answers you can’t find in your book or notes. You’ll also be able to check the class syllabus again to see just how much the final is worth and take the infrequent Netflix or YouTube break.
4. Notebooks, pens, highlighters, etc.
These are the essentials you always need but are always finding yourself without. Before heading into battle with your brain, double check that you have all your basics, so you’re not forced to give up your prime spot. (Think of what happened to Rory’s study tree for all you “Gilmore Girls” fans.)
Here’s another essential that is sorely missed when absent. Being able to jam out to your favorite study music is one of the most motivating things in an unmotivated state. Make sure these guys are tucked away safely in your backpack at all times.
Remember your chargers. Remember your chargers. Remember your chargers! They are (quite literally) your lifelines. Think of them as the caffeine for your devices — and your devices need a boost too. A charger could save you from a trek back to your dorm or even a missed paper deadline when your phone or laptop becomes too exhausted to carry on.
I’m not sure if these are contraband or not, but you can at least enjoy them in the cafe of Helm. Like a charger for your body, snacks will help you get through the long road ahead. And if they are contraband, you could always sneak them in in your backpack … wink wink.
8. Comfy clothes
Before heading out to conquer your studies, make sure you’re in comfortable, but productive, clothing. Find that happy medium between cozy and focused so your time at the library is as beneficial as it can be. A sweatshirt and jeans would be my recommendation, but you do you, boo.
Oh, how cheesy. But really, going into a situation with poor expectations and a bad attitude can only make the experience worse. Those feelings may even prevent you from doing as well as you could. So just try to keep a cheery outlook despite all the grim. After all, it’s nearly the end!
Take these things with you and you’re sure to make it out of finals week alive. Best of luck, survivalists. Be safe out there.