Keeping Calm and Carrying On During Finals


It’s astounding, time is fleeting: last day of classes is Wednesday and final exams begin Friday! I would like, if I may, to take you on a strange journey, to the intersection of easy and helpful in the Venn diagram of finals study tips. Follow some of these simple steps and make your finals experience your personal happy place.

First, clear your head. Start from a space of calm. With calm.com. You heard right. Calm.com : a place to relax on the internet. A sweet, 2-minute, guided meditation experience. Since everyone has two minutes, when you start losing your intense focus, scoot on over for a 2-minute refocus. You can choose music/not and whether you want your meditation guided/not.

Now you’re calm, clear-headed, ready to study. Next step: Simplynoise.com. Simplynoise is free as free can be and will pipe “white noise” (actually comes in brown, pink, and white) into your headphones. White noise is amazing tool to block out background distractors and allows your brain to fully latch onto your work. It can turn 30 minutes sessions into 3-hour marathons, painlessly.

Maybe you’re all set, calmed, white-noised, but you’re having trouble finding your study groove. In that case, maybe the Pomodoro Technique is for you. It’s a time-management system that breaks your time into 25-minute intervals (called pomodoros) with breaks in between. The steps are simple and five in number:

  1. decide on the task to be done
  2. set the pomodoro (timer) to 25 minutes (there are chrome apps for this!)
  3. work on the task until the timer rings; record with an x
  4. take a short break (3-5 minutes)
  5. every four “pomodoros” take a longer break (15–30 minutes)*

If you still feel like the internet is still pulling you into its distracting depths, it might be time to go all out and unplug, with freedom. Freedom only does the one, simple thing, and that is: disconnect you from the internet. You chose the amount of time, any amount of time up to eight hours, press FREEDOM!, and presto: no internet for you. This program is ideal for that phase after you’ve finished all of your internet research and now are just marathon writing/revising/flash-carding. A little disclaimer: Freedom is the only hot tip in this blog post that costs money, $10, to be exact.

*Thanks, Wikipedia!

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