Finals don’t have to be stressful!

Finals week is now underway and already UCLA students across campus have settled into “Finals Mode”.  Finals mode includes an increase in studying, a decrease in sleep, excess coffee, and a more frequent use of libraries.  In the midst of finals week craziness, it is important to take a moment to breathe and find our sanity once again.  Here are a few tips:

  • Schedule in some study breaks!  Studying is extremely important, but you also don’t want to burn yourself out before your test!  After every couple of hours, take the time to go on a walk, get lunch with a friends, or something else that is easy and relaxing!
  • Pick a good playlist! I can get so distracted by what music I listen to when I study, which defeats the purpose of listening to music. Pick something classical or something mellow.  My personal favorite is my “Civil Wars” Pandora station, but I’ve also recently discovered Blind Pilot!
  • Go work out! This is a great stress reliever.  The morning of your final, put on your running shoes and do a quick run around campus or go to the Wooden Center (which is considerably less crowded during finals week).  Find a friend and play some racketball.
  • Lay off the coffee after 11pm!  Sleep is just as important as study breaks.  Coffee is excellent (clearly I’m a fan), but after a certain time of night it can really mess with your schedule.  There is nothing worse than spending a long day studying then not being able to sleep before your 8am final because you drank too much coffee.  Instead of coffee at night…
  • Drink tea! It comes in a variety of flavors and levels of caffeine
  • Change up your location every once in awhile!  Go to the 24 hour Starbucks in Westwood, check out all of the finals week special hours at Kerckhoff or Ackerman, or go to UBC’s study spot on Wilshire for free food and wifi! (Yes…free)

Finals week can seem daunting, but take some deep breaths and you will be just fine! Professors aren’t “out to get you” and UCLA wants to help you out (as does the surrounding community)!

Studying and Keeping Sane

 

A large part of my time here at UCLA has been finding new and creative places to study.  Some of my favorites include:

  • The reading room at YRL
  • The 5th floor of YRL
  • The English Reading Room (a new find)
  • The Sunken Gardens (when warm)
  • Jimmy’s Coffeehouse
  • Espresso Profetta (in Westwood)
  • Starbucks (open until midnight!)

Most UCLA students at some point or another will experience “Night Powell”.  Night Powell is the College Library at night.  The reading rooms and study rooms are open 24/7 starting week 3.  While I have studied there, When studying, I have always found that crowded libraries can be a bit oppressive.  So last night, in a last ditch effort to avoid Night Powell, I decided to do some exploring.

I didn’t get very far…in fact, I ended up in Kerckhoff Coffeehouse (not all that unusual for me).  I was surprised to find it near empty!  I had my pick of the tables, as many plugs as I needed, and coffee!  On school nights, Kerckhoff is open until 11pm which is perfect since I try and get to sleep by 12am every night!  The music selection at Kerckhoff is always great and coffee is a college necessity.  Last night I really needed to study for my two midterms and I was impressed by the vibe at Kerckhoff.

During the day, Kerckhoff is buzzing with students and faculty.  Some are studying, others are catching up with friends, you always see bible studies meeting and student group interviews going on.  It is lively! At night it is the perfect study place!

The Weirdest Week of the Quarter.

Finals week is crazy for so many reasons!  It’s always been my least favorite week and my favorite week.  Everyone is so sleep deprived and has no class that we all just end up having some of the best memories!  It is not uncommon to go into a dorm study lounge at 3 in the morning to see people studying or snacking.  Coffee shops around Westwood are full of college students.  New friendships are made as you form study groups with classmates for the first time all quarter!  It’s a unique time.

This weekend was a lot of fun for me.  My friends and I were looking for new places to study and taking some creative study breaks.  Here is what we found:

Study Spots

  • Libraries (my personal favorite is YRL)
  • Different apartments (yesterday we studied while listening to Les Miserables and saw an incredible sunset)
  • University Bible Church on Wilshire.  From 7pm-1am they have free coffee, food, wifi, and printing!!
  • Coffeeshops (you can’t go wrong with Jimmy’s Coffeehouse and their awesome music!)

Study Breaks

  • Trying new recipes
  • Taking a walk
  • Hourly dance parties
  • Midnight Yell (a UCLA tradition!)

The last week of the quarter is when you get to see people at their most vulnerable and at their messiest.  Somehow (between practicing equations and writing papers) you make some of your best UCLA memories!

For me, this week has already included some creative cooking, an awesome pink and purple sunset, and dancing to early 2000’s pop music.  My professors have all been great about setting up review sessions and I have already formed some study groups for later in the week.   It has been a lot of fun so far.  I cannot wait to see what the rest of the week has in store!

The best part about all of this?  As soon as it’s over, winter break begins!!!  Merry Christmas!!

We are going to finish this strong!!

Hey there Bruins!!! Can you believe that we are already in week 10!?!! Last week of the Fall quarter and that means next week is final week (I’m screaming -silently- just thinking about that)

This quarter went super fast, and I mean super super fast. With the 4 classes, work, and lab research, this quarter sure did keep me busy at any point.

Having said that, I hope you all already started writing those last couple essays and papers, finished up those articles that you’re supposed to read for the finals, and flexed your brain muscle and nerve for the final preparation of this quarter. Don’t get stumbled by laziness when  finishing up this quarter!! You’ve worked hard throughout the entire quarter, and it will not worth it if you stop and give up early!!

Here’s some tips that I’ve acquired for finals week:

1. Study with your friends. And I mean really study 🙂 not gossiping, watching movies  in the middle of studying, or going somewhere as a break from studying, etc. Studying with your friends really helps in kicking out the laziness and boredom from studying by yourself.

2. If you’re the type that loves quietness and studying by yourself,  pick a place where you feel relaxed and not stressed out.

3. Eat healthy and get enough rest. Yup, it is important to get enough (not too much) rest! You don’t want to get sick right before your finals.

4. Hold onto that temptation to watch movies, TV, etc. You can have all the time during winter break to catch up with those movies and TV episodes 😉

Well Bruins,I wish you all the best and good luck in finishing up week 10 before heading into finals week!! Let’s end this quarter strong just like how we started it!! 🙂 Go Bruins!!!

Let the final battle begin!!!

Most students were doing one this weekend: studying. When I visited school to study on Saturday, the campus was so empty and quiet.  This is probably because some students had begun to take their finals since last Saturday.

One thing that I’m looking forward to is that my last final will be on Thursday, which mean I have an extra 2 days for my Spring Break, yay!!! Although most of my Spring Break will be filled with visit to different high school, I am really looking forward to it!! At least I qill have 1 week and 2 days of no studying, midterms, homework, or papers due.

In the middle of the stress of studying last week, I got a chance to meet a high school junior and her parents who came all the way from Indiana to visit UCLA. They read my blog and saw that I’m a Bio-Engineer. Their daughter is interested in studying Biology at UCLA, so they came to see the campus. It was really nice knowing that I can help students to see how life is like at UCLA  through writing a blog entry like this!!

I have to say that it was a really nice break from studying, when I gave them a tour of the campus. Walking around the campus made me realize that I am really fortunate to be able to call myself a Bruin and attend UCLA!

Before I get back to my studying, let me say good luck to all the Bruins who are  studying for finals!!! 🙂 Go Bruins!! Let’s finish the final battle for this quarter!!!

The week where my sanity is being tested!

This coming week is week 10 and as my professor ever said, this is the “holy cow” moment; and I have to say, I couldn’t agree more than that. All this time has been building up to this week-the last fighting week before finals.

Last week during week 9, I started seeing students sitting at every corner, in the library and classrooms with their books. Everyone, including myself, started doing their studying early to get ready for finals week.  My favorite place to study is Engineering V, which is right behind Kerkchoff. It’s the Bio-Engineering building. There’s a white board and a study area for Bio-Engineering students. It is also really convenient since all of the Bio-Engineering professors’s offices are located in this building. I can always come up to find my professors during their office hours if I have any questions.

I have to say I’m glad my finals are happening on different days. I couldn’t imagine if I had to have 2 finals on the same day!! I’m also glad that my last  final is on Thursday, which means I have Friday off already and can start my Spring Break!

But firstly, I have to get through week 10,with the continuous assignments and studying, before finally hitting finals week!! I know you have started the count down with me since last week so keep it up and we’ll get through this last week!! Go Bruins!! Week 10 here we come!!!!!

3 day weekend for a Bioengineering student

Hi there, it’s my first time posting a blog for UCLA and I’m really excited; even better it was a long 3 day weekend!! But as I told you, with the second wave of midterms on their way, this only meant one thing for me: a really really long weekend of studying. . .But it’s all good!! I met my study group to study together. My tutor even  came on Monday to help us out even though it’s a holiday!! My professor even came on Monday to still have his office hours!! You gotta love UCLA’s professors for this. Their classes might be challenging, but after all that’s the reason we all come to UCLA: to push ourselves and be challenged ! After finishing my first quarter this previous Fall quarter, my respect and admiration to UCLA’s professors is  has become very high. They are willing to help us out of their office hours when it’s actually beyond their obligation.

I was also cheered during this fun studying weekend by the flowers that I got on Valentine’s day 🙂 Yes, despite the fact that I’m an engineer, I still celebrate Valentine’s day and have fun while studying haha. It was more special this year since the bouquet was made by my boyfriend himself 🙂 It was so much fun to many people with flowers in their hands last Tuesday around the school.

Anyway, it’s a pleasure to meet you all readers and hopefully I can help to give you a glimpse as being a Bruin! I hope everyone had an awesome long weekend everyone!

Mid-Term Marathon

I am happy to announce that I have just successfully completed my mid-term marathon! And by that, I mean that I have had 3 midterms in 3 days and it is finally over! This is without a doubt one of the craziest times in the quarter. Everyone is scrambling to find time to study and learn all the material they forgot from the first half of the year.  Every quarter it seems like mid-terms sneak up on you when you are least expecting them! Often people talk about how stressful finals week is, and how much studying they have to do. Personally, I find the middle of the quarter much more stressful. During finals week there are no classes and no activities so you can fully commit to studying. But in the middle of the quarter, nothing stops for mid-terms. You still have your full course load, as well as your extracurricular activities! You have to find time to study around all of these commitments.

I have to admit that I do find it stressful, but over the course of my time here I have learned to cope much better than I did at first. There are some strategies and things you can do that really put things in perspective. When mid-terms roll around people stop going to their clubs and activities, and they stop hanging out with friends because they want to use the time to study. I have found that this can be the opposite of what you need to do. A couple breaks can be very healthy and will make the time that you are actually studying more productive. Also, when you know that you have commitments or things you want to do it ensures that you adequately budget your time for studying and that when you are studying you are not distracted by things like Facebook! I think the most important thing about studying for mid-terms is to not get too stressed. Taking some time off to hang out with friends, go to your clubs, volunteer, or even going to a movie can make you feel much more relaxed and refreshed.  It is also really good to have a reward waiting for you at the end of mid-terms. For me it was my upcoming trip to Bear Valley with my friends this weekend that helped me get through the last couple of days, and I am sure it will be an amazing trip. I cannot wait to blog about it next week!

Managing Your Time

As midterms approach us, we are all balancing our social life with academics. Yesterday was Super Bowl day. Don’t get me wrong, but I’m not much of a football person. I don’t really like it. But between all the excitement and whatnot, I love the half time performances. Let me just tell you that Madonna KILLED it!!! Her performance was amazing!!! I loved it! Who didn’t?  The point is, with all my excitement and upcoming papers and tests nearing by, we college students have to balance our time. With that being said, I usually balance my time by giving myself ‘time off’ from my studies. That way, when I’m actually having time off, I can relax and not worry about school. This in return causes me to really be ‘in the zone’ (OMG I just caught a Britney Spears reference) when I’m studying. That means, no slacking off or time-off from my study time. This encourages me to really be focused and be organized. I also like to take a nap before my studying time. That way, when I wake up I can concentrate fully in what I am studying and not be worn out. It’s critical to be effective with your time as a student. That’s why every time anyone asks for suggestions on how to better manage your time when studying, my first suggestion is to be honest with yourself and your studying habits, and work around them. After all, everyone works differently and it is up to you to work effectively with the way ‘you work.’

Things I do before Finals…

Well this is week 10 which means finals are next week! So what are the things I do to prepare for finals?  So much is going on…but I couldn’t be more excited.

As a college student, you have multiple things going on at the same time. If it isn’t something it’s another thing. I have an incoming interview this Friday that I have to prepare for. I’m really geared for it and nothing but exciting things can come out of it. In order to effectively prepare for finals and make sure that I manage my time effectively this is what I do in order to prepare for Finals Week:

  • Finish all my assigned readings for ALL of my classes
  • Construct notes for each reading- include important facts that I think the professor will include in the Final Exam
  • Create study groups/sessions with classmates
  • Allot studying time for each class (time really varies)
  • Eat breakfast everyday
  • Get at least 6-7 hours of sleep everyday
  • Exercise at least 3 times during the week before finals (STRESS RELIEVER)
  • Stay focused and IN THE GAME

Wish me luck ladies and gentleman! Much love is appreciated, :).