EXAM PREP: That time Carissa learned Maria could write…

Hey guys:) It’s Maria! I know Carissa gave you all an update not too long ago but I figured I should give you guys some tips since our exam week starts on Monday *cue sobs*. I have always had testing anxiety so this time of year is one of my least favorites (the other one is final exams in the spring).

So the first thing I always have to do is attempt calmness; yes, it does sound difficult but you just have to go to your happy place. My happy place is imagining myself with my pup curled up next to me with her head in my lap. I know for Carissa it would probably be eating deer jerky at deer camp listening to her One Direction/Taylor Swift playlist (it’s called TayTayOne SwiftDirection). It could be descriptive or simple, all depends on what you want to imagine.

Here are the tips i’ve put together for you guys:)

  1. Exam Information– know where it will be held, at what time, who will be your proctor, and most importantly what time your exam is over. Do not be afraid to talk to your professors; most of them really don’t want you to fail (I said most).

  2. Plan It Out– most professors give study guides or review sheets. LOOK AT THEM. If you need to write down what you should study, then do it.

  3. Schedule– schedule out your time to study. Don’t just start studying the day of the exam. It’s scientifically proven that cramming before an exam does not help you on said exam. Taking a half hour out of your day to just review things can help you (even if it’s two weeks before your exam).

  4. Follow Through– follow through with your plans. Making a list and schedule is all well and good, but you need to make sure you actually complete the goals you have set for yourself.

  5. Study Correctly– don’t just skim the book, take the time to read it and repeat it. Flash cards are a favorite of mine as is teaching the material to a willing friend or relative (aka don’t use Carissa as your student). It’s proven that the best thing to listen to while studying is instrumental music, it can be pop, rock, jazz, classical, hip-hop, R&B, etc etc. My personal favorite is a compilation of Beethoven (love me some Fur Elise) and/or the Nutcracker.

  6. Study Breaks– give yourself permission to take study breaks — actually make sure you take study breaks. Study breaks allow for maximum concentration while also rewarding you for your hard work. Most colleges have “Stress Less” activities to do like making gingerbread houses, snowflake making, doodling, movie night, secret santa, puppy breaks, etc. Do not skip out on these no matter how overwhelmed you are. It is extremely important that you give yourself a break.

  7. Take Care of Yourself– yes, studying and completing assignments are very important, but don’t forget that you still need to sleep (most people who sleep between 6-8 hours a day live longer than people that sleep longer or shorter amounts of times) and to eat healthy food (not just burgers and fries, Carissa).

  8. Exams DO NOT Define You– remember that exams are very important, but they do not define you nor do they necessarily reflect your learning ability.

Okay those are my study/exam tips! If you have any questions or comments feel free to email us:) Both Carissa and I are wishing you all the best of luck on exams, final projects, research papers, and anything else that could be stressing you out. You aren’t alone, and friends, family, professors, and more are great to rant to. Much love :*

xox,

M

p.s- I made Carissa read my research paper for International Studies and she learned that I am capable of writing essays and sounding intelligent (apparently I sound immature on here :p)

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20 Steps To Procrastinate Successfully

What’s up guys, how are you doing?

So I might as well make you all aware that this is going to purely be a Carissa post because, if this isn’t something you’ve gathered yet by reading these posts, Maria does not procrastinate.  Ever.

…Ever.

When we first began living together, I found this very unnerving and super strange.  No one I knew in high school did their homework as dutifully, thoroughly, and quickly as Maria does, and I’m practically the poster child for procrastination.  So honestly, when professors really began throwing essays upon reading assignments upon research projects at us, I expected the majority of students here to go about doing all that work the way I do, the way that is normal to me: binge work.  Or in other words, wait as long as possible and then crack down on it as hard as possible.

College is a whole new ball game, people.  The majority of the students — not all, but most — have studying habits similar to Maria’s.  And this completely blew my mind.

So because I know I’m not the only one in the world who procrastinates more often than they don’t, I want you to know that even if you feel like you’re alone in college, the only one still awake at 3AM writing an essay on the campiness of Grease 2 and why you love it anyway, I’m here for you.  Hypothetically.  All you have to do is come find this blog post, because I get you.  You get me.  And we can procrastinate together.

Here’s how I do it most successfully:

  1. Sit down and get everything ready.  Make a list of all the homework you need to have done by the next morning, rewrite it so it’s ingrained in your mind in case you forget to look at the physical copy often enough, and set it right next to your laptop so that you don’t forget to look at it.
  2. Put your phone on silent and go plug it in somewhere out of sight.  You don’t need that distraction right now.
  3. Go to the bathroom before you actually get started.  Again — don’t need that distraction.
  4. Turn on your laptop and open every social media/entertainment website you’re on regularly (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, YouTube, Wattpad, Ask.fm, etc.).  Check every notification you have so that you get this done and over with because we both know you’ll end up doing it later otherwise.
  5. Lie to your roommate when she asks if you’re doing your homework.  What she doesn’t know won’t hurt her (she actually knows you’re lying, though…just so you know).
  6. Put your headphones in and turn on Taylor Swift’s new album on shuffle because your life will be a disappointment if you don’t know all the words to all of the songs by the end of the week.
  7. Look up the lyrics to Blank Space to see if she actually says “Starbucks lovers” in the chorus because you saw it on Tumblr.
  8. Go back on Wattpad to see if anyone else is talking about 1989 and see that your favorite story was updated.  Read the update.  Read more updates.  Stalk an author or two.  Then exit out of that tab because it’s becoming too much of a distraction.
  9. Go back on Wattpad because you forgot to post a message to your followers about 1989.
  10. Get annoyed by Instagram online because it’s nothing like the app and grab your phone.  See that you have 382794 snapchats and 27464 text messages and proceed to respond to them all.  This will take a few hours, especially once you get on Instagram.
  11. Once everyone who decided you were important while you’re supposed to be doing your homework falls asleep, mentally reprimand yourself for getting distracted so easily.  Return to your laptop with the intentions of exiting out of every tab you still have open.
  12. Become interested by an argument breaking out on Twitter and investigate.
  13. Become interested by something a celebrity posted on Twitter and investigate.
  14. Realize you’re distracted again and exit out of Twitter.
  15. Stop what you’re doing because Shake It Off just came on and you need to dance to it and lip-sync it (your roommate is sleeping at this point) and everyone knows that if you don’t drop what you’re doing upon hearing the first beats of the song, you’re living your life wrong.
  16. Decide you’ve been working too hard for too long and take a refreshment break.  Realize your fridge is out of beverages because this is a routine process and stand in the middle of the room sulking for anywhere between 5 and 25 minutes.  Any longer than that and you’ve got a problem, friend.
  17. Give up on the beverages and return to your laptop, exiting out of every tab this time without even hesitating (because you know if you take one peek at your Tumblr dashboard, you’re a goner).
  18. Check the time, realize you’ve been at this for four hours, realize that you haven’t checked anything off of your list yet, and realize that you have to be awake for class in three hours.  Die a little inside.
  19. With every atom of strength you possess, pick up that book, read what was assigned to you, write the essay for it, and cross it off your list.  Do the same thing with everything else until you’re finished.
  20. Crawl into bed for a quick power nap and wake up in the morning with the intentions of looking like Beyonce even if you feel like One Direction fans when Haylor was a thing.

And that’s how it’s done.  If you follow this guide, you will surely accomplish everything you need to in less time than it takes Colin Mochrie to brush his hair.

(If you didn’t get that reference please go watch Whose Line Is It Anyway, preferably the old version with Drew Carey as host.  You’re welcome.)

Since it is currently 3AM and Maria is asleep and is therefore unable to contribute to this post, I’ll throw in a little something for her benefit so she doesn’t wake up and have an aneurysm after seeing that I condoned such study habits: DON’T LISTEN TO CARISSA SHE’S GOING TO FAIL AT LIFE DO YOUR HOMEWORK AS SOON AS IT’S ASSIGNED, EARLIER IF POSSIBLE, AND MAKE SURE YOU PUT SO MUCH EFFORT INTO IT THAT YOUR PROFESSORS START DOWNGRADING YOU FOR DOING TOO MUCH RESEARCH OKAY THAT IS THE ONLY WAY TO SUCCEED.

With that, I shall leave you to ponder.

Let us know what you thought of this post — if you liked it, I might do more.  Sarcasm and dry humor is fun.

Take care,

Carissa