Thursday, December 18, 2014

Surviving Finals 101

Since I have survived a final (or 50) I thought I'd share my tips on how I make it through. 
Final exams and I have a love-hate relationship. I have had some semesters where my finals were a breeze. My first semester at Clemson, for example, most of my classes were review since I'd already taken so many AP classed in high school. I honestly wished I could be a part of the paranoia and craziness that ensued on my hall. 
Bless me. 
Be careful what you wish for.  
There have been other semesters, where I wanted to pull my hair out and just make it through haha. (Practice for parenthood/toddler years perhaps?). Since starting pharmacy school, my semesters have been much more like the latter. There was not enough caffeine in the world to keep me awake and away from pinterest ;) This semester was one of my most difficult. So I'd like to look back to see exacly what I did to make it through and maybe even help someone along the way. Because, to be honest, next year will be here before I know it! Ah!
Survival Tip #1
This may sound kind of crazy but I write out an itinerary for my day...especially when I know I have a lot to get done. I love a good list ;) It's not super detailed..just something to make sure I don't get side tracked. On weeks leading up to finals I have several lists in full swing. This also ensures that I actually get everything done that I need to get done. You'd be surprised how much time is spent as down time throughout the day..and before you know it, it's midnight!
Survival Tip #2
Make time for yourself.
 Do the things you love. During this whole semester, there was not one time where I decided I wouldn't watch my favorite tv shows, or go out and go for walk when I needed to. However, I did try to plan this time into my day before hand. I usually wake up at 6:15, go running, take a shower, eat breakfast and be in class by 8:30 each day. Yes I realize that's a lot done in the morning but, once that's out of the way, I have the rest of my day to focus on school stuff, hanging out with friends, etc. 
Survival Tip #3
This sounds so cliche but it is truly important. I am not gonna lie, when I was in undergrad, I got ALOT of sleep freshmen year...and it definitely dwindled as I got closer to graduation.  My first year in grad school, I managed to clock close to 9 hours a sleep each night. Which is a lot even still however, this summer, after looking at my upcoming course schedule, I realized I should probably re-research the minimal amount of sleep I could actually get, and still function like a normal person. Now I actually make it a point to get at least 7 hours of sleep each night. I'd say about 98% of the people I know, my boyfriend especially, can function off of only a few hours of sleep. I am not one of those people. I will probably never be one of those people. And I'm ok with that :)
Survival Tip #4
Have a little faith.
This kind of goes without saying but you never know what might happen. Besides, a little prayer never hurt anyone. Don't sweat the small stuff ;)
Survival Tip #5
Don't forget to breathe.
This is one I have to constantly remind myself of. There are so many days I get overwhelmed and my Type A personalilty would much rather do everything except breathe  ;) But then I am forced to take a deep breathe and slow down; I have to take one thing at a time in order to get the millions of things on my agenda done.
Although this season is a tad challenging, I know God is in control. Whatever higher power you believe in don't forget to keep in touch. :)


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