It's that time of year again; finals are right around the corner. As we all make our extremely long to-do lists and wrap up those final projects I wanted to provide you with a few study tips to help you knock your finals out of the park.
- Get in the zone: Take note of your three favorite study spots, and rotate where you study. Research shows that you perform better on tests when you don't study at the same spot. Switch it up! Is the weather nice? Study outside for the afternoon to soak up some extra vitamin D!
- Make it colorful: Who said studying has to be boring? Buy some colorful pens, markers, and highlighters and make your notecards or study sheets a work of art. Isn't it always more fun to take notes with fun colors?
- Eat up: It is so easy to eat poorly during finals: You are stuck in the library with nothing but the vending machine. Plan ahead! Go to the grocery store now and stock up on fruits, veggies, and other healthy snacks. Never be without a quick snack!
- All about the jams: The only thing that would get me through studying was a great playlist. Find what works for you. Maybe it is listening to the same song on repeat. Maybe it is instrumental music or movie scores. Or maybe some summer jams to get you thinking about what lies on the other side of all your tests. Whatever it is, get your headphones and get your head in the game!
- Reward yourself: Sometimes the worst part of finals is that you study so hard for one test, take it, then have another one within 24 hours. Don't forget to reward yourself for the hard work you already put in. Finish one test, get some ice cream, call a friend, watch a movie. Take a few hours before you jump into preparing for your next test or project. It will clear your mind and help you feel refreshed.
- Partner up: It is always good to study with a buddy. The night before the test, partner up and quiz each other on the information. You can both learn from each other's mistakes!
- Be the teacher: Before the test, go to a study room and pretend to be your professor. Act like you are teaching the test material to a class. A good proof of whether or not you know the material is if you can explain it to someone else!
- Tutoring: Before it's too late, go ahead and set up a tutoring appointment for all of your classes. Review with the tutor all the content you struggled with throughout the year. A tutor can also be an excellent resource for study tips or important content that might be on the test.
- Dress for success: You know what they say: when you dress good, you feel good; when you feel good, you do good. Don't take your next test in sweats; put on clothes that make you feel good! This might have only a slight impact on your attitude and performance, but one percentage point is the difference between an A and a B!
- Office hours: Schedule time to visit each of your professors before your big test. When they can put a face to a name, they are much more likely to boost you from a B to an A if you are on the line. Also, they might even let you know a few of the test questions!
While studying and finals can be tough, I promise you will have some good memories during this stressful time. Some of my favorite memories are from staying up late studying with my friends. And if you adequately prepare yourself, you will see great success. Good luck, and remember, highest scholarship is Theta's intellectual aim!
With the semester quickly coming to an end, it is time to start buckling down and preparing for final exams. This can be daunting if you do not know where to begin. Follow these seven tips to have your most successful finals week yet.
- Attend your professors' and teaching assistants' office hours. You can usually find your professors' or teaching assistants' office hours on the course syllabus or web page. Office hours are a wonderful opportunity for getting your tough questions answered and receiving extra help on tricky topics. Can't make it to office hours due to conflicts in your schedule? Send your professor or teaching assistant an email; they are usually willing to meet outside their regularly scheduled office hours.
- Create a study group. You know what they say: "Two heads are better than one." Creating a study group can allow you to bounce difficult concepts off others in your course. Seeing a new approach to a question that has you stumped can help you better understand the material. Just make sure the study group doesn't turn into a social group.
- Don't procrastinate. It may be alluring to put off studying if you do not have finals until the end of the week, but this will only hurt you in the long run. Start refreshing your memory now on the topics you learned at the beginning of the semester. You will thank yourself come exam time!
- Break it down. If you attempt to conquer an entire semester's worth of material in one day, you will likely be overwhelmed. Divide the material you need to cover before each exam into manageable chunks and review it over several days. By focusing on more than one topic per day, you are less likely to get bored and stop studying too soon.
- Take breaks. It is very important to give your brain a break from looking at a textbook, PowerPoint, or lecture notes. Try giving yourself a 20-minute break for every two hours you study. Keep your blood pumping and give your eyes a rest by walking around the library or to a new study spot.
- Eat well and get plenty of sleep. Your brain cannot function efficiently if you're over-tired and surviving on caffeine alone. Make sure to eat healthfully, drink plenty of water, and get some sleep.
- Take time to relax. If you do not take time to relax and focus on something other than school, you can easily become distracted while studying, making the time you spent reviewing less effective. Set aside time each day to de-stress. Grab a sister and head to the gym or read a new book.
Good luck on your final exams!
- Eyes on the prize: Remember your goals! Honor the hard work you have done thus far by completing it to the best of your ability.
- Reward yourself: Recognize and value the work you have completed. Oftentimes, we do not receive as much recognition as we would like. Practice self-affirmation—acknowledging and taking pride in your accomplishments! Schedule "me-time." Go for a hike ... take a nap ... pick up the phone and call a friend.
- Self-evaluate: So maybe you didn't reach all of the goals you initially set for yourself. Take time to think critically about why this might be. How will you adapt your methods in order to reach your goals next time? Were your goals realistic and attainable?
- Use your resources: Chat with your professor at his or her office hours. Seek out encouragement from your academic mentor or a friend. Grab ice cream with someone who inspires you! Ask your supervisor for feedback. Don't be afraid to ask for help. It is not an indicator of weakness but rather a sign that you are self-aware and eager to improve. 0l>
My favorite of Kappa Alpha Theta's values is personal excellence. As we strive to achieve this value, be assertive in the pursuit of your goals! Remember that you have the love and support of those around you, including the more than 150,000 Theta sisters all over the globe. Finish up this year strong, and set goals for next year. January will be here before you know it!
As the middle of the fall semester draws near, our calendars are full and our lives are bustling. Midterms are ending, officer terms are coming to a close, stress levels are high, and professors are already hinting at what will be covered on the final exam. We are being pulled in several directions, and sometimes Kappa Alpha Theta moves to the back burner. I believe reconnecting with Theta can help us stay calm in times of stress and lead us back to falling in love with "the first Greek-letter fraternity known among women."
Here are five ways every member can "fall" in love with Theta today!
- Service Opportunities: Day of Service is about taking time out of our busy lives one day a year to purposefully spread the widest influence for good to Thetas and non-Thetas alike. If you didn't get a chance to serve your campus or community on October 19 (Bettie Locke Hamilton's birthday), it's not too late! Gather some Theta sisters and donate a couple hours of your time to a local organization. It's a great way to reconnect with Theta values and, of course, Theta sisters!
- Theta Thursday: Sister Dates: Sometimes all we need is a short break to reconnect with the ones we love. Theta Thursday is a great opportunity to catch up with a sister over coffee, treat yourself (and your sisters) to an afternoon off, or take the time to de-stress and remind yourself of all the incredible relationships this organization has brought you over the years.
- Group Study Sessions: Whether you are a collegian or an alumna in graduate school, studying with sisters (even if you are studying a different subject) will always make the burden lighter. Your sisters will always be there to lend a helping hand!
- Find Your World Travel Companions: If a mid-year vacation (think winter break) is what you need, then plan a trip with some of your sisters. Theta brought me some of my best friends, and we all share the travel bug! A week in Mexico, a weekend trip to Canada, or a trip inside the United States ... those are some of my fondest memories of college. Think of a new place you would like to explore and take some Theta sisters with you. You're guaranteed to have the vacation of a lifetime!
- Live With Your Best Friends: Whether your chapter has a house or not, Theta gives every member a chance for a yearlong sleepover with sisters who love you. Whether you're living in an historic university dorm or the first Theta house in the country, the walls will speak of the history of generations of women who came before you.
As the semester comes to a close and finals are fast approaching, it is easy to become overwhelmed and stressed with the amount of work to be done before summer break. As I visit campuses, I have seen a few great ways chapters are incorporating positive mental health into their last few events before finals. Here are three easy ways to bring programming to your chapter to prepare for this demanding time:
1. Sisterhood Spa Night: Recently, I have seen more and more chapters planning sisterhood spa nights. An easy and inexpensive sisterhood event, you can grab some face masks and nail polish, and play some relaxing spa music! You can make a massage train or even hire a campus masseuse (many campus wellness/health centers have massage therapists who do free or very cheap massages - they can sometimes even bring a massage chair to you!). This is a simple and fun way to get members together to relax and enjoy each other's company prior to finals.
2. Host a Mental Health Education Night: May is Mental Health Month. With the stress and anxiety that finals can bring, it is a great time to have a chapter discussion about mental health, depression, anxiety, and coping. Sisters Supporting Sisters provides many resources for members to educate and learn more about mental health. Additionally, chapters can connect members to Talk One-2-One, a 24/7 confidential hotline for members to speak with a qualified counselor.
3. Connect Members to Useful De-stressing Applications: If your chapter is unable to schedule an event, the following are great resources for all members to schedule their own relaxation time. Each of these applications (free on the iTunes AppStore) provides a guided mediation/relaxation sequence - a simple and easy way to find a bit of relaxation during the stressful finals time!
- Relax+ with Andrew Johnson
- Stop, Breathe, and Think
- 5 Minute Relaxation
Is your chapter incorporating mental health programming into your final weeks on campus? Are you holding an event different than the ones listed above? Let us know your ideas in the comments below!