9 Tips for slaying those finals I practically rolled out of bed to get to my computer. It finally feels good to have a home-cooked meal in my stomach instead of eating Tuffy’s everyday (they don’t beat my mother’s mac n’ cheese!) Alas, the time has come. We’ve all been dreading these next three weeks as soon as classes started at the beginning of the semester, even more when midterms came around, and now that it’s finally here every library on campus will be so packed that you’ll start to question whether or not some of the people in there even attend NC State. It’s exam time; FINAL exam time. Prepare for long lines at Port City Java or Hill of Beans, all nighters, study groups, and maybe even a few skipped classes to sneak in a nap. Most importantly, be prepared to read all of those notes, chapters, powerpoints, and reading materials that you were suppose to read but never really had a chance to ever get around to reading. So buckle up my fellow colleagues, here are 9 tips that’ll help you survive Finals Season. 1. Stay In There are so many distractions around campus that it is easy to get caught up and misuse your time. Try to get a head start on your studying a month in advance, the latest. Finals season is not the time to go out to frat parties or clubs. If you have a few free days, don’t waste them! Use them properly: catch up on sleep, relax, or do some more studying. 2. Study Breaks It’s time to stop studying within 12 to 24 hours of a test. As many professors will say, “If you don’t know it the day before the test, then you don’t know it.” Most experts advise to study in hour-increments. Study for 50 minutes, then take a 10 minute break. Use this time to get up and move. By doing this you’re making yourself just as effective as your studying. 3. Music Listening to music is a great way to relieve stress and improve your mood during finals season. No I don’t mean turn up “All I Do is Win” by DJ Khaled, but more like “Begin Again” by the Piano Guys. Here’s a little science behind it: Non-lyrical music is processed by the right side of your brain while writing is processed by the left side of your brain. Stimulating both sides of the brain causes it function better as a whole. Lyrical music distracts your brain from processing your notes/ reading material because the life side of your brain is trying to decipher both the lyrics and your writing notes/reading material. 4. Food “When you study, your brain consumes glucose (sugar),” says Ted Dorsey, author of Tutor Ted’s Guide to the SAT. “Take a five-minute break every hour to let your body produce more fuel for your studying...have a healthy snack (almonds, fruit, and yogurt are good choices).” In general, you have to eat right during finals week. That means NO Ramen. Eat food like fish, peanut butter, and eggs that boost concentration.
JESSICA STUBBS | Correspondent 5. Figure Out What’s Covered It is very important for you to know what material will be on your exam. Is it cumulative or only on material covered after the midterm? Is it on the lectures or reading material? Knowing what format the is given is also helpful. Is it multiple choice, essay, fill in the blank, or maybe all three? Knowing the extent (and the limits) of the exam along with the format will make it much easier to organize and structure your studying. 6. Study Buddies Friends are a great resource during finals week. They can keep you motivated and concentrated and on track by making a study schedule that you all can follow to avoid procrastination. We also make them our study buddies, which could be a problem. If you know your friend gets distracted easily and cannot stop talking, chances are you’ll both end up so far off task you’ll forget what the note cards were for. Many of us also make the common mistake of thinking that study groups and study buddies are always advantageous: more brain power plus peer pressure to crack the books. This works well when your study buddies are at least as smart as you. Hopefully your friends will understand. 7. Work Out Studies show that exercise boosts memory and cognition. In 2013, the New York Times wrote an article about a study conducted at Goethe University in Frankfurt, Germany that showed that vigorous exercise helps prime the brain to learn new information. Your schedule will more than likely jam packed to the hour, but hitting the gym for 30 minutes instead of taking a hour long nap isn’t a waste of time. Rather, it will help you study more effectively (and you’ll look good and feel good afterwards). 8. Sleep Do NOT stay up until 3AM studying for your Bio final. “Eight hours is ideal for the night before an exam,” says Dorsey. “It may be tempting to stay up late studying, but remember: you’re going to need energy and focus while you’re taking your exam.” There’s a brain trick to late night studying or cramming: studying the things that you don’t understand and when you feel like you’ve got it under your belt go to sleep. Sleeping helps your brain create and strengthen a roadmap you’ve made for this new information. 9. Deep Breaths For many of us, exams give us more anxiety than an alcoholic at bar. But it’s okay, you can do it. You’ve survived final exams before, and you’ll survive them this time too. If you’re feeling nervous when you sit down to take the test, take five long breaths over a one-minute period. This will put your body at ease. And don’t forget, you’ve been getting ready for these tests all year long.
A letter from the Managing Editor NIA DOAKS |Managing Editor
The African American Cultural Center, Multicultural Student Affairs and other offices on campus provide a multitude of great resources for our students. About two months ago, an email was sent out through MSA’s listserv providing information about a Diversity and Leadership Conference that was going to be held at the end of November and inviting students to express their interest in attending. Because it seemed like a great opportunity to grow and learn more about leadership, I attended along with our Editor-in-Chief, Chris Hart-Williams. I signed up expecting to see the faces of many other AASAC and student leaders on campus in attendance as well. Throughout this conference, which was all-expense paid by MSA, we were able to attend various sessions regarding the intersection of diversity and leadership and how we can improve this type of communication within our respective
organizations. We were able to meet other student leaders and faculty and discuss relevant issues encountered when talking about diversity. Unfortunately, I was wrong in my previous assumptionit seems as though not many people took the opportunity to go on this conference. The MSA office expected to have at least fifteen students attend, and the group that ended up attending didn’t reach that capacity. As student leaders and educated college students, it is vitally important to take advantage of these types of programs. This is not only for our personal development, as students, but also for the development and growth of our community as a whole. I understand just as much as the next student what it means to have a busy schedule- we may not all want to read through e-mails that we receive from various listservs; however, by disregarding we may pass over great opportunities
offered by different parts of our campus. The offices here at N.C. State do what they can to offer us these opportunities and resources, and it is up to us to follow through and take them. On the other hand, the case may be that announcements of these types of opportunities aren’t always reaching our community. If this is the case, how can we help MSA keep open communication channels with our students? If anyone has any suggestions, don’t hesitate to contact Jasmine Omorogbe at firstname.lastname@example.org or anyone else in the MSA office. This office in particular has future opportunities planned for students, so let’s be sure to support these and other programs on campus that are meant to benefit and cater directly to us.
Wednesday, December, 2014