Computer labs, study rooms and the library will become your best friend during Dead Week and Finals Week.


As the semester winds down, I realize I have not written nearly enough for my Boomer Blog. At the beginning of the semester, I had plans to write once every other week, maybe even once a week. I promise to make it my New Year’s Resolution to write more for you all. I love this school and want to share everything I know and love about it with you.

I know you all are in high school, but you will soon be in college. And in college, finals are just around the corner. Seeing as we are currently in what us college students call “dead week,” I decided it would be a pretty good idea to give you all some tips and tricks for avoiding meltdowns of catastrophic proportions during everybody’s two least favorite weeks of college.

1. GPA is a very important number, but it is just a number.

Something that has been hard for me to come to grips with in college is getting grades lower than I wanted. Yes, GPA is important; but a GPA lowered a few decimal points will not be the end of your life.

Of course, you should strive to do your best in college. I am not telling you not to study. I am just telling you not to pull out your hair in frustration. A good GPA is good for jobs, scholarships and bragging rights (oh come on, don’t pretend you don’t do it); but like I said, a lower-than-expected GPA is not the end of the world.

As far as jobs go, there is so much more that goes into getting a job than a good GPA. For scholarships, it is more likely that the higher the GPA, the more likely you are to get a merit-based scholarship. But remember, there’s always next semester. Also, the more hours you accumulate, the less one class grade affects your GPA. That’s just one fantastic thing I’ve learned as a junior. Furthermore, “bragging rights” are great, and great GPAs usually do boost one’s self-esteem a little, but just remember, it’s just a number.

Lastly, the more you worry and stress about your GPA, the less time and concentration you’ll have to actually study.

2. Remember that you are only human.

This ties in with the GPA thing, but it means more than that.

Remember that you might not graduate college with a 4.0. I’m not telling you that you won’t succeed at OU; OU does a lot to make sure their students do succeed. But every once-in-a-while, you’re going to hit that class (or classes) that you just don’t understand and you might just get a B. It happens to the best of us.

Also, realize that you might need to limit yourself a bit during Dead Week and Finals Week. If you are one of those people who like to be involved in everything, take a step back for just two weeks. Maybe tell your employer you need less hours, tell your organizations you can’t attend the meetings, tell your friends you can’t hang out that certain day. Grades are important. Don’t stress about making good grades, but then try to fit 50 different activities into time when you should be studying. Also, don’t forget to breathe. You need time for that, too.

3. Make time in your schedule to relax.

This may sound like it contradicts what I just said, but it doesn’t. You will go crazy if your mantra is “study, study, study.” Although you should make time in your extra-curricular schedule for some studying, you should make time in your study schedule to relax. Maybe attend that office Christmas party, go out to see the Christmas lights with your roommates, go somewhere that last Saturday night with your friends. Watch a movie. Surf the Internet. Sleep.

You’d be surprised what good a little bit of relaxation and fun can do for you. If you manage your time properly, you’ll have time to study and still do all this stuff. You may not believe me right now, but that usually makes your grade that much better. Like I said before, make time to breathe.

4. Don’t procrastinate.

If you knew me, you might call me a hypocrite right about now. I sometimes have a little problem with procrastinating. I’ve gotten a lot better since I started college, but I still encounter this problem from time to time (honestly, I feel like I sometimes do better under pressure, but don’t follow that advice).

It’s really hard to start studying for finals when they seem so far away. I understand, we think we have better things to do with our lives (even if it’s just watch a Law and Order: SVU marathon on TV). Anything to avoid studying, right? Wrong.

If you get more done earlier, you’ll have more time later to take breaks and relax. You won’t have to cut into your sleep schedule or become a hermit for two weeks in order to finish everything. Just trust me, if you do this, when finals time rolls around, you’ll be in relaxation heaven while all your friends are in ultimate panic mode. I think the first situation sounds much better.

5. Sleep is your friend.

Chances are you won’t listen to this piece of advice at first. I guarantee you’ll pull at least once all-nighter your first year of college, maybe even your first month; but you’ll regret it. This, like everything else above, is not just advice for finals week. It is advice for college in general.

When you don’t sleep, your brain does not function properly. You probably won’t ace that test, you might get mad at your roommate for no good reason and don’t even think about driving home when you haven’t slept in over 24 hours.

I pulled an almost all-nighter my first semester of college (I got one hour of sleep). By my last class at the end of the day (a very boring lecture, if I might add), I was literally falling asleep. My hand-written notes were literally scribbles and letters written one on top of the other. I’m not going to lie; I was probably pretty cranky as well.

Then in the spring, I pulled my first official all-nighter for my last final of Finals Week. I did manage to fit a lot of studying in, but I was dead to the world for most of the next day. After my test, my mom helped me move out of my dorm. We stayed in a hotel before the drive home the next day. That night, we went to a restaurant for dinner. The waitress came up behind me to take my order, and I jumped. (You know, like when you jump a little because somebody surprises you?) Yeah, that happened. Embarrassing. Never. Again.

Here’s the deal, if you time manage and don’t procrastinate, you won’t have to worry about having to pull those all-nighters. And if you still don’t feel prepared, just choose sleep. During Finals Week, you need those eight hours more than ever. This doesn’t just apply to those potential all-nighters, it applies to every night. Make sure you’re sleeping enough during Dead Week and Finals Week. Chances are, a well rested you will do much better on those finals than zombie-you.

Just remember these five pointers, and you’ll ace Finals Week. They all tie in together, so just read them, follow them and thank me later. Hope you all have a great holiday season

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