Monday, May 01, 2006

Rules for finals

1. Don't panic.
2. Don't try to divide your study time incrementally per credit hour per day.
3. Don't think about the math at all -- for example, how many less days you studied for your 6-credit course than you did for your 4-credit course -- this is not a productive line of thought.
4. Bring your own lunch.
5. If you know people who are sick, stay away from them. If you see someone who is ill walking towards you along the sidewalk, cross the street. It doesn't matter where you're going.
6. If you happen to eat in the cafeteria, even though you brought your own lunch, don't pay attention to the little table-fulls of students chittering away behind a mess of papers, binders, and laptops. Don't look to see if they take the same classes you do. Don't judge them based on the ugliness of their sweatshirts or even try to guess how long it's been since they've washed their hair. Just keep your head down and eat your sandwich.
7. Maintain a regular schedule. Say, "I'll work eight hours every day, and that will probably be enough," and try to convince yourself that this is true.
8. Recall that to most adults, and nearly everyone you see on the streets, in the subway, or even in your own apartment, your final exams don't really matter.
9. When you hear someone talking about something you don't know, or someone asks a question that you consider confusing and/or dumb, think: "I'm not going to listen to this chickenhead!" and pretend that instead of their words, all you can hear is "BAWK BAWK BAWK."
10. Don't compare study methods with other people. Learning about someone's else color-code post-it system or meticulous transcription of the entire textbook will not help you.
11. Smile even when you don't mean it. If you have to be anyone, be the happy one.
12. Don't panic.

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