Your Freshman Finals Survival Guide

Words by Kiana Duncan

Your worst nightmare is back again: It doesn’t come in the form of your super-athletic friend dragging you to the gym, Rosie’s not delivering anymore (ugh, right?) or your old high school boyfriend sliding into your DMs. (I don’t want to buy your mixtape, Steve.)

Instead, it comes in the form of cumulative exams given by professors going through ugly divorces. I mean, come on, we can all tell, Susan. By the end of last class, we were teaching you about supply and demand. Sorry, not the point. The point is, some professor trying to pay off student loans is going to sit down and type out a horribly worded, seven-page nightmare that you won’t be able to forget for weeks. And here’s how you (and me) are going to get through it:

  1. Don’t drunk study. Granted, all I’ve heard from this are success stories, but please believe me when I say I’m 90 percent sure this doesn’t work for final exams. I’m not sure how, but the laws of whatever magical element this works by are somehow broken the minute the calendar hits May. It’s like Cinderella at midnight, only, you know, more ugly crying and a not-so-handsome prince. Unless Tinder is hopping in Club Lib. Remember, #dontdrinkandderive. (LOL, it’s a math joke.)
  2. Sleep. Sleep. Sleep. Never heard that one before, have you? Well, it’s super important. We’ve all taken exams exhausted.You know, where your face is about to hit the desk at any minute? Can’t focus on anything? For some odd reason, you’re super hungry? It sucks. You swear you knew this stuff coming in, but now your brain is swirling like the Frappuccino in a Starbucks blender you can’t stop thinking about. Sleeping, especially before an exam, is super important. Like, not just a little, either. Sleep a normal-ish amount. All-nighters are the devil, and I’m sure that has been scientifically proven. You really don’t learn anything. If you absolutely can’t sleep and this exam is supposed to save your grade, then at least nap. #napssavelives.
  3. Reward yourself after you’re done. Last semester, I got a cat. This semester, I’m getting another cat (#dormcatpart2: Secret Life of a Dorm Cat). Unless my RA is reading this, then I’m completely joking. While ending up with six new cats is extremely unsustainable, find your own version of this. If you need a good, cheap, greasy breakfast to reward yourself, I recommend The Lamp Post in Akron. It is the best place to get breakfast, and it’s open 24 hours. Get yourself that bag. Get your favorite food. Go on a shopping spree. Kick your roommate. Do whatever you need to do to feel whole again.
  4. Don’t neglect your packing. Sure, finals are coming up, but so is the rest of your life! Your parents are coming to help you move out, and unless you want to be here seven hours after your last final, I strongly recommend you start throwing things in a box now. It doesn’t have to be neat; you’re moving back here in three months. Actually, why unpack at all? Just live out of a box.
  5. Don’t get easily distracted. Sure, Pita Pit and a movie sound amazing right now, but you’ve got an exam in the morning. Stay strong. Grit your teeth and turn down that deliciousness. I’m not saying you have to go completely pitaless: just order it instead of interacting with others. And isn’t that what you’d rather do anyway?
  6. Remember what’s ahead, unless your hometown sucks. (Same.) But while you’re sweating it out over three study guides, think about that trip to Florida this summer, or whatever your family does when you get out of school. Maybe you feast on the blood of a family of five; I don’t know you. Whatever it is, just keep it in mind when you’re exhausted and school has you completely done.
  7. Don’t procrastinate. *pauses for laugh track* OK, we all suck. What am I doing right now? Not studying for economics, that’s for sure. Get yourself a planner and put in when you actually need to sit down and study. It works. Find a good place to study that fits you. If you can’t focus in your room, go outside. If you can’t focus outside, go to the library. If you can’t focus in the library, break into someone else’s room and surprise them while they sleep. Whatever it takes.
  8. Banish people who need to be banished. As much as I love my friends, I absolutely cannot study around them. Great people, really, but I can’t go two seconds without making a stupid joke, and then three hours later we end up at Buffalo Wild Wings, and I end up being the only who gets ice cream, even though they said they wanted ice cream on the way there… fun times.
  9. It’s the little things. Take little breaks to keep your perspective. For example, does school really matter when you’re sitting outdoors, enjoying the sun with some ice cream? Yes, yes it does. I’ve taken like six breaks from writing this article to watch “Parks & Recreation.” Go bake some brownies and deliver them to Johnson Hall, room 131. You know, for your own good.

No matter how many finals you have, just remember that you’re almost done. Oh, and appreciate your professors dropping your lowest grades now and getting out of the final because when you get older, they stop caring. It’s fine. I’m not bitter. Everything’s fine. I’m just waiting to get my cat.

Feel free to use any of my amazing hashtags and tweet at me for any advice, blog ideas, or just to say ‘sup: @strawberrykilee

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