As I sat holed up in my dark room— eyes blurry and painfully dry, head pounding and clogged up, and my hand scribbling messy gibberish— a malicious voice repeatedly tortured me: “You asked for it. It’s all your fault, all your fault, all your fault.”
And I have nothing to retort back. Because it is. It’s all my fault. It’s all my fault that I’m so utterly behind in preparation for my two exams tomorrow that I’ll be happy even with a C. It’s all my fault that within 24 hours, I have to re-learn all about the Big Bang, Einstein’s two theories of relativity, electromagnetism, red shifts, plate tectonics, lithosphere, the top diseases in 10 different countries, the biological invasion of cancer cells and AIDs and diabetes, and…Oh God, I need to stop before I start hyperventilating.
If it sounds like I’m about to turn mad, it’s because I am. I’m stuffing so much new information into my brain in such a limited frame of time that my mind is nauseous and I seriously am starting to wonder what a brain-vomit would look like.
So. There ought to be at least some kind of good end to this, so I shall very kindly and generously share with you some tips on what not to do as a student…in case you’ll end up like me. Let’s just pretend that I’m going through this hell just so I can share this list with you:
What Not To Do As a Smart Student (Which I Did)
- Do not blog during class: Or do Facebook, Twitter, etc. during class. Listen to the professor. He/she will probably reveal hints to what kind of questions will be on the exam.
- Do not stay up late watching Netflix and Hulu: Or you’ll wake up late and miss your morning class, like I did. Numerous times.
- Do not wait up to the few days before examinations to start your readings and catch up on all the class lessons: Unless you have an IQ of 280, you won’t be able to absorb all the information at once.
- Do not try to do your readings while lying belly-down on your cozy bed with a giant Pooh bear: Because you will fall asleep.
- Do not have your twitter or Facebook on while studying for your exam: Or you will find any excuse to distract yourself from your work, such as by responding to any random tweet like “I like bacon”.
- Do not sign up for time-consuming events like the Foodbuzz 24, 24, 24 right smack in the middle of exams: Planning the menu, going grocery-shopping, scheduling my time for preparations for the 6-course meal…it all takes. so. much. freaking. time. Time that I don’t have!
So here’s my brief list of what not to do (which I did). I guess you can see that the key thing is to keep up with all the lessons in class. Because it really sucks to have the learn six week’s worth of contents by yourself in two days. And because no matter how rich, beautiful, and smart you are, you can never buy or manipulate time.
I’m so stressed out, I even got a zit on the middle of my forehead. One word: AARRRRRRRRRRGGGGGHHH!!!!
Okay, I feel better now. It’s kind of late, but there are a few ways to make these few days of torture a bit better:
1. Vent to someone. I sent a stressed-out text message to my brother, and that made me feel better:
Even when he gave me the most clichéd reply ever: “What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger”, it kind of made my stress load lighter. Also, he promised to pray for me, and prayer works wonders.
2. Another way to help you study for your exams: eat quality snacks to prevent from falling asleep while reading the Lorentz Transformation Equation. I’ve been eating my weight in nuts and these granola bars sent to me by Nature’s Path:
Nature’s Path sent me three types of their granola bars: Pumpkin-n-Spice, Chococonut, and Mmmaple Pecan.
“Real, organic pumpkin seeds, organic raisins and sweet cinnamon; all made with good stuff like whole grain oats and flax.”
I was kind of hoping that this would have a real pumpkin flavor, but the it’s called Pumpkin-n-Spice because of its pumpkin seeds and pumpkin pie spice. I was a bit disappointed, but forgave it because it had a really delightful texture:
Lovely chew, a good amount of crunch, and nice hint of spice.
“Real, organic dark chocolate, freshly shredded coconut and whole grain oats. Fulfill your chocolate craving and feel good about it!”
If you like dark chocolate chips…you’ll love this bar. It’s certainly pretty generous with its chocolate chips! I however was not really enamored, only because it was too much dark chocolate for me. I’m more of a milk chocolate person, and I don’t really like chocolate chips, either.
But what was awesome about this was the chewy and prevalent taste and texture of the coconut. I would love this bar so much more if it skipped the chocolate, and just focused on the coconut aspect of the bar.
Finally, my absolute favorite, the Mmmaple Pecan:
“Real, organic maple syrup, crunchy pecans and just the right amount of sweet, creamy icing; all made with good stuff like whole grain oats and flax.”
AAH! So freaking good! Oh is there anything more pleasing than the smell and taste of sweet maple syrup? I could do without the icing, and I would have preferred a bit more pecans…but still, two thumbs up!!
I have to say, Nature’s Path really rocks out consistent awesome products. All their products are low-sodium, trans-fat-free, vegetarian, and whole grain. A neat bonus is that all their bars come with a healthy dose of great Omega-3 fats, too.
I got side-tracked…but on with the list of things to help you survive the exam period…
3. Gotta have your Sweet Treat Wednesday! By that, I also mean: treat yourself! Indulge! Give yourself something to look forward to within the chaotic week. For this week, I had two Sweet Treat days. I think I needed it, and coincidentally, Starbucks happened to have a Free Pastry Day on Tuesday, so I hauled my ass up earlier in the morning to snag my free pastry:
Apple Bran Muffin!
It was awesome. I loved the plump raisins and cherries in there, and the cake was moist. It was more like a cupcake than a muffin because of its sweetness, but it made a nice perky breakfast treat.
As a bonus, I also got to meet up with Mimi, who I haven’t seen for more than a month. It was awesome catching up with her again, and I had to hold back sobs when I had to leave for Geology class.
For today’s Sweet Treat, I had some kind of bread pudding from my local Mexican bakery:
Unfortunately, it just wasn’t very good. It was way too sweet for me. The top had a thick sugary glaze, and the texture was kind of…slimy. But it was only like 60 cents so I wasn’t too devastated.
And finally on the list…
4. Take a moment to breath. No matter how busy, reserve at least a few hours a day for your own quiet, personal time to relax and meditate. I can’t reiterate how important this is! Seriously, if I was hectic and rushing the whole day, nothing even gets done; I end up feeling too burnt out to do anything productive. I think this can translate to anything: a brief run in the morning, or reading the bible before classes, listening to praise songs, doing yoga, whatever.
For today, I had my 3 hours of quiet time during art class in the morning. I’m loving the things we’re doing these days, which is to draw portraits. We don’t actually get to choose what we want to draw; the professor gives us specific assignments. For example, for the last two classes, we had to draw someone in class. Here’s the two unfortunate guys who got partnered up with me:
This guy is Nolan. Say hi, Nolan. He doesn’t look so much like a gargoyle as he does here.
This guy is Matt:
It looks like a Wanted Poster…I think I drew a serial killer instead. But in reality, he’s a really nice guy. I swear. He helped me open the door and carry my art supplies. Such a gentleman.
Okay, I’ve wasted enough time. It’s time to tackle Geophysics and Public Health again. I hope everyone is having a sweet Wednesday, and certainly in a better condition than I am!
Question of the day: Let’s all share a random “What Not to Do” tip, preferably from personal experience to make it more fun (funner!). I’ve already given a whole list on “What Not To Do To Avoid Becoming an Overwhelmed Student”, but here’s another one I learned: Do NOT put salt in your yogurt to make a fun sweet + savory combination. It is not fun, and it ends up tasting like Chinese medicine.