The semester is ending fast! Whether you’ve studied hard the entire time or are just starting to cram, getting through these last few weeks can be tough. Any motivation you had in January is fading fast, and the river is way more appealing than the library. Luckily, we have a few easy tips to make the end of the school year bearable.
The hardest thing to do right now is study, even if you know you need all A’s to pass a class. If you get distracted too easily, leave your phone at home and find a solo study room in the library. You’ll be amazed how easily you get work done when you can’t use your phone. Another way to cut out distractions is to download an app for your computer that blocks you from websites for a certain amount of time. You can choose from SelfControl for Macs, StayFocused for Chrome, or ColdTurkey, FocusMe or Freedom for all platforms.
Once you get into a study mindset, set yourself rewards for getting things done. Break up your study time into 30 minutes of studying and 10 minutes of break, and spend the 10 minutes being active to wake your brain up. If you’ve got a long reading assignment, treat yourself to M&M’s or gummy bears every time you read a page. Pick a long-term reward for big assignments, like papers and test reviews - a meal out, retail therapy, or drinks on the Square.
Whenever you get a precious bit of free time, use it to your best advantage. Don’t try to do a million fun things at once - you’ll only end up exhausting yourself and getting nothing done the next day (take if from me). Pick your favorite fun activity and don’t stress about school while you do it. If you want to go to the Square or Sixth Street, spend the afternoon on schoolwork so it’s not bothering you while you’re out. If you go to the river or spend the day in Austin, take the evening to get caught up on everything. If you do get behind (like we all do), don’t be afraid to ask for help from professors or classmates - someone will always be there to give notes for the class you missed due to a hangover.
When finals week hits, it’s really time to buckle down. Too many all nighters can leave you exhausted, so be sure to take care of yourself in between tests. If you’re spending all day at the library, take breaks every so often to stretch your legs and rest your eyes. Don’t subsist only on coffee and energy drinks - be sure to eat a good meal and stay hydrated. It’s actually better to sleep a bit after studying, rather than to pull an all nighter, since your brain processes information while you sleep. The closer you study to sleeping, the better the information is processed, so be sure to review everything a little bit every night before you go to bed.
Once tests are finally over, it’s time to celebrate! Get out your frustration over all that work by blowing off some steam in whatever way you like. Burning or ripping notes can be very cathartic, as can writing bad reviews on Ratemyprofessor. Once all your bad feelings are out of the way, relax and enjoy San Marcos. Hit the river and the square, stay up all night, and forget all about that chemistry final… at least until next semester starts and you do it all over again!
Author Sophia Taylor-Burton