College is going to be the best time of your life. That, right there, is what everyone says. But then again, these are the same people who said that high school was going be the best time of your life, which, for me, was a complete and total lie.
There’s always this point in every semester where all your deadlines and exam dates are clumped together in the same week. This particular week, my dear comrades, is finals week (aka hell week), and it is an unavoidable, integral part of college life.
So, to ensure that we all don’t die in the process of getting our various qualifications, here are some of my favourite tips to get you through the great and wonderful maze that is college life.
Time management is key
You’re more or less convinced there’s some interstellar conspiracy to make your life as hard as possible. That means back-to-back deadlines and a nice sprinkling of final exams as the cherry on top.
It’s really easy to get lost in the muddle of dates and assignments, so my number one tip is to always have a planner with you to mark down submission dates, your daily to-do list, and to plan out your study sessions. If there’s a really big project that’s going to make up for more than 60% of your grade, space it out over the course of a few weeks, and tackle it a little bit by bit every day. That way, it won’t feel as if you’re suddenly hit by a sudden tsunami of 2k word essays and other miscellaneous assignments.
For me personally, I find this the most effective way to manage your time and get things done without getting overwhelmed. A bonus is that you get to experience that little tinge of satisfaction when you’re already halfway done with your assignment, and your course mates fret about haven’t even starting. Heh. Heh heh.
(But no one likes a bragger la okay, so bask in the smugness internally)
Coffee is your best friend, but it’s not food.
A lot of us become prone to skipping meals and sleep and surviving just on caffeine and Red Bull. And if not, then it is very tempting to do so.
Sometimes, I wished that there was a way to pump coffee into your body intravenously, but it’s not going to happen, okay? (By the way, if anyone wants to take up that challenge, be my guest.)
Yeah sure, maybe at 2am the morning before the deadline, when you’re rushing to get things done, and your eyelids are being physically taped open, it might be helpful. And yeah, I’m not gonna deny that it is effective. But coffee isn’t going to replace an actual meal. You know, like food? Do you even remember what food is?
So please, don’t neglect your own health, because you can’t crush that grade if you go into shock due to all that zing.
Sometimes, it’s good to let it out
I have this theory about crying: it’s like a fart. Sometimes you just can’t hold it in, and it’s always better to just let ‘er rip! In the wise words of the God that is Alex Pettyfer, “Better an empty house than an angry tenant.”
In the final semester of my foundation course, we had this saying, “If you haven’t broken down at least once during hell week, you’re not trying hard enough.” Yeah, it’s pretty hardcore, but my classmates and I can’t deny the fact that crying (even in front of our lecturers, lol) helped to alleviate the stress. I’m not saying that you should be doing that in front of every lecturer lah, okay, cause that’s just plain distasteful. But when things get a little overwhelming, it’s okay to have an occasional breakdown (or two. Or three.)
Find yourself a quiet room or toilet or whatever, and let it out.
Go on, it’s okay, I’ll be waiting with tissues.
Sleep becomes a luxury, but you should still invest in it.
Remember that college golden triangle thing?
Yeah, that one.
Based off my own experience, it is kind of true, but it doesn’t mean that it has to be either/or. Obviously, you can’t give up sleeping for the entirety of your college education, because that would suck and may even potentially kill you.
I’ve always chosen a good night’s sleep over pulling an all-nighter, because I would rather have myself be awake and alert during an exam or presentation, or at the very least, be lucid enough to at least bullshit my way through. Having a fresh mind is always a good thing, so please, I know you can’t afford it, but try to hit a minimum of 4-5 hours at the very least. Your sleep cycle will readjust during sem break. And! Imagine how great a decent night’s sleep is gonna feel after months of slogging. Mmmm. I can almost see the sheep already.
So there you go!