Finals are coming

I was excited to take a few days off next weeks and go home for thanksgiving. Then I came to a stunning realization finals are only 26 days away. This means I don’t have as much time as I thought to get things done. So I thought in this blog post I would try and give you some tips for getting things done.

The first trick I learned is the countdown clock, go to a website like and create countdowns for each major thing you have to do. I look at them every morning to see how far away due dates are

Give someone your Ethernet cable and then don’t allow them to give it back without proof of productivity. This also works with game controllers

Study out of your dorm. If you live in towers you have probably figured out by now that it is a minefield of distractions. In order to fix this problem move where you study. Posvar and Hillman are great. Empty classrooms in the cathedral are great for groups.

Caffeine is not a substitute for sleep. 16 hours of studying the night before and no sleep is a lot worse then 8 hours of studying and 8 hours of sleep. If your brain is all wired up on caffeine and sugar it can make it hard for you to think during the test

If you are looking to become more productive before finals then checkout these sites

PC World
An app I just started using and really like

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7 Responses to Finals are coming

  1. regina says:

    I was so excited for Thanksgiving too! Then, I realized it was not going to be that much of a break. I hate to be a downer, but it is honestly more of an opportunity to accomplish the massive amounts of work and studying that is piling up on us right now. I was so glad you posted the time and date site. I immediately clicked on the link and cannot wait to fill in all my countdowns. I too feel that time is creeping up on us and I think good organization skills are a key to success that can easily be left behind in the shuffle of things. I know I have three different calendars, five different syllabuses, facebook study groups, and two emails to check before I can be sure even be sure I am up to date on all my to-dos. I like to reassure myself by thinking I am not the only one, but that still doesn’t lighten the load. These were some great tips, and this post was a great source of motivation.

  2. bennydog15 says:

    Only in the past few days has the realization that we have basically two weeks left of school struck me, and only today did I realize just how much stuff I have to do before then! Within the two weeks following Thanksgiving I have our Local Website project, our Final project, a bio lab final, a psych test, and a bio test. I’ve got to say, it kind of put me in a state of mental shock and horror. I practically started crying when I was expressing to my mom on the phone today all that I have to accomplish in such a short amount of time. I kept thinking about Thanksgiving break, and how unrelaxing it will be, knowing what awaits me back at Pitt. I won’t be able to enjoy myself because when I’m goofing off, all I’ll be able to think of is the work that I’m not doing! That’s no way to spend a holiday.
    I decided that the only way to deal with this awful situation is to look my assignments in the face and say “I am reclaiming my Thanksgiving break!!” It was time to be rational. I immediately sat down and worked out a To Do list with every upcoming assignment and how long I had to get it done. I scheduled when I would get each assignment done, and when I had finished, I was amazed at how calm I felt!
    I definitely want to look into some of those programs you listed to help me with future assignments. I now am seeing the beauty in being in control of my assignments, instead of my assignments being in control of me. You know- I feels kind of great!

  3. Anky says:

    Time management. Time management. Time management.

    I have heard those words time and time again throughout the summer before Pitt, at the start of Pitt, and even every week here at Pitt.

    I found that time managing from a high school level to a collegiate level is like opposite ends of a shovel: different. Okay, it wasn’t the best comparison but you get it.

    It boils down to three things: focus, determination, and some more focus. As a student, we have to have a motivation to do well. It can be a personal drive, aspiration, or goal that you can set. Start off small; finishing up math homework a couple days early or getting a hard start on a paper due in a week.

    Then, we can set up something on a bigger scale. Anything from planning out a study schedule for your final, or arranging things for a summer internship. Regardless of what it is, we need to focus.

    Second, we need to be determined. Take out all the distraction like Barold said. Go to a place without the capability to access Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etcetera and use the focus I talked about and you gotta be determined enough to block out the outside world. Texting your friend can wait, updating your status will only get you likes, not good grades. Tweeting about #thatawkwardmoment does not benefit you in your calculus class.

    See, its harder said than done. I realize that. I struggle with it daily. In fact, I checked Facebook just now. I know, it is a terrible world. But what are you going to do?

    Exactly! What are we going to do? Follow the plans that was just set forth. It won’t solve world hunger, my friends, but it will be a huge leap in the right direction.

  4. Socrates says:

    this happens to me alot as well, i think ive got all the time in the world to do something but then in what seems like seconds it’s the night before and i have to study twice as hard and stay up twice as late. I really like all your ideas about getting out and trying to expand where I work and I know that I am going to live at hillman finals week. even though its scary I am really looking forward to them because i know that its gonna be an experience I am not gonna forget.

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  6. EL7 says:

    I too was excited for Thanksgiving break. I thought it would be an awesome time to sleep in and stay out late. I even made a list of things that I missed and wanted to do, and people I wanted to see while I was at home. 2 days before I was to leave, I realized that I should probably just throw the list away. Instead, I replaced it with a list of due dates. The period of time between Thanksgiving and Christmas should appropriately be deemed ‘Hell’. 3 final projects, a scene in a play to memorize, one quiz, 2 major exams, work for Pathfinders, 3 finals, hundreds of pages of reading, and other little but tedious homework assignments all fill my planner. You must be kidding me. My heart is beating unhealthily fast just thinking about it. Guess I’ll be doing work at Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow.

    All of this aside, I’m sure that Christmas break will be all the sweeter when it comes around. Not only will we have just finished our finals, but there will be absolutely NO WORK. I cry tears of joy just thinking about it. Seriously, since I’ve been at college I have never NOT had any work to do. How many days away is Christmas?

    SO – keep on keepin’ on friends. Let’s get through Hell together.

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