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April 26, 2013

My ABC’s of Exams: Attempting, Bruins, & Clubs.

Sometimes, you just don’t know how you make it through.

Exam week is next week, but it always ends up where the professors take the week prior to exam week just as hard (and in my opinion, even harder). Final papers, final tests, final “Oh jeeze I haven’t talked enough in class huh I should talk more!” comes up and everything starts piling up and there seems to be no way out. And this week, I’m definitely feeling that. And to top it off, I have a competition this weekend at MIT!

This is my view for the day today.

This is my view for the day today. Don’t the workers look like ants? They’re building an addition to the gym!!!

But instead of complaining about my exams, I’d rather talk about what to do to handle the exams. Every handles stress very differently on campus, and it’s something you notice. A lot of the biology/pre-med students are just in a constant state of stress and coffee, poking them the wrong way waking a bear or an exploding Voltorb. Other students are just apathetic – they don’t show up to classes anyway, so what’s the point? Other students just curl up into a ball, wrap themselves with a small blanket and cuddle with a teddy bear for a few hours.

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I try and take a slightly different route, and it works about 80% of the time, while the other 20% is used in serious breakdowns, freak-outs, and hyperventalation. But those help me refocus and calm back down. So yay! But the first thing I do is write a list of things I need to get done and by what date. Lists are lifesavers.

For example:

  • Pack up my room before I leave for Chile (May 2nd)
  • Start and finish International Relations take home exam before I go so Michelle can turn it in for me (May 2nd)
  • Write blog (YAY!)
  • Finish fourth round of edits on book chapter (April 25th… woops).
  • Finish presentations for Chile and re-write one of the papers. (May 2nd)
  • Compete and do well at MIT! (April 27th-28th)
  • Apply for Psychology research grants for my Honors (Almost finished!)

Etc. And while I’m freaking out about getting it all done, I know somehow, whether that’s through lack of sleep or serious focusing, I can get it all done (because I have to get it all done!). And I keep calm. I don’t know how — but I just try and take things one step at a time. What’s the point in freaking out? All it does is waste time I could be using focusing on what is important in that moment. So i do my best attempt possible.

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And really, within the stress that is finals, the most important thing to remember is to find ways to de-stress. So, yesterday, I went to the Boston Bruins game with my suitemate, Michelle, and a visitor from Germany, Saskia. My sister also came along with two of her friends. It was so much fun! Getting to Boston was really easy (I have a car) but I could have easily gotten there through Union Station, our train station in Worcester, and the Consortium bus that can get me from Clark to the Station for FREE.

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I got a few pictures with the Ice Girls, and they signed some postcards. It was subsitquently added to my wall in my dorm. The Bruins won!!!!

And then tonight, I’ll most likely be going to a Salsa Club in Cambridge with the Ballroom team. It should be a lot of fun and a good de-stressor, though my personal opinions of clubs just causes me stress… The team has promised I’ll have a good time though, and I trust them more than they probably realize. I don’t think going to the club will be the de-stresser (if anything, it will just increase my worries/anxiety), but being with my friends – studying with them in the library, going out places with them — that’s the real helper. And for me, knowing that I have a group of people I can always go to to hang out, dance, doing something we’re all united and interested in — is the best part about college.

So, join a club. Do a sport. Do something. Because while it adds on time to your life, and you think sometimes “WHY AM I WASTING TWO DAYS AT THIS COMPETITION I COULD BE DOING WORK AHHHHHH” and you think “OH GOD WHY DID I JOIN TEN CLUBS I WONT HAVE TIME FOR THEM” … it’s actually the one thing you should always make time for, because it will be the one thing that keeps you sane during the worst times.

I love you all. You are my family and you keep me sane through being so insane. :)

I love you all. You are my family and you keep me sane through being so insane. :)

Image of head found [here], exams [here], keep calm [here]

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