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Gotta Catch ‘Em All: Your Guide to Finals Season 2011

It’s that time again.  Thanksgiving break ends in an abrupt tease and we all return to campus, a little fatter and a lot lazier, to begin the three-week countdown until the slothdom of winter break.  Unfortunately, we can’t just bide our time until that blessed month. Nope, every day ticks closer to the Achilles’ heel of the semester….Finals Week.  The time of year when stress abounds, and we find ourselves constantly vacillating between frenzied studying and a degenerate inability to do anything whatsoever.   Already feel like there’s no way you can possibly “fit it all in” and maintain your sanity?  Never fear, I’ve devised a secret weapon, your fail-proof guide to finals season 2011: mastering the art of multitasking.

So you want to….
Study and Workout
You’ve already made your mile long to-do list for tomorrow, now how the hell are you supposed to squeeze in a work out?  You don’t even have time to have a proper length meal, let alone a trip to the Plex (get ready to embrace plastic wrap and awkward cubicle eating again).  Well, collegiettesTM , it’s time to get creative with your workouts:

  • The Million Dollar Stairs— If you’re lucky enough not to be a freshman or one of my CoRo-mates (sup, Ronc), then chances are you spend a good portion of your week trekking up to middle campus.  Come finals week, instead of herding with the masses at the Hillside elevators, head for the Million Dollar Stairs.  Be sure to preface your arrival with some kind of battle cry/warning call so your fellow students won’t be alarmed when you start charging up the Big Money, two steps at a time.  That’s right, charging.  And when you get to the top, turn back down again for good measure.  If you’re like me and perpetually late, you’ll always have reason to hustle.
  • Namastudy— Cardio not your thang?  Throw up some Downward Dogs while reading your textbook; the positioning is perfect, and you’ll de-stress.  For the overly ambitious, planks work too.  For the nearsighted, push ups will do the trick.  Hey, with all your multitasking perfection, you might even have time to squeeze in a Happy Baby for all your efforts. 
  • It Takes Balls— Supposedly sitting on an exercise ball builds core strength, stability, and posture.  So invest in one of these miracle orbs and take it with you, everywhere.  Bring it to class, the library, breakfast, lunch and dinner.  This may be the easiest form of multitasking yet.  Just sit! Hello six pack.

Study and Party
It’s finally Friday, and even though you promised yourself you’d stay in, do work, and get to bed early, the first mmmst of bass through the dorm walls pretty much guarantees that not happening.   Lucky for us, pretty much everything can be adapted into a game:

  • Flashot Cards: Make flash cards, find a study buddy, quiz each other.  Throw one back when you mess up, as punishment, or when you answer correctly, in reward.
  • Study Tracks: Think anyone would notice if your biology lecture podcasts snuck into the next DP playlist? …you and me baby ain’t nothing but mammals.

Study and Flirt
Study date, le duh!  Warning: be prepared to sacrifice some sleep afterwards since no one ever actually gets studying done during a study date.
Study and Sleep

  • O’Neill Couch Power Naps— Don’t be ashamed to bring a blanket and/or pillow for optimal comfort because the power nap just became your new best friend.  If you’re shy, you can always head to the hidden lair of the McGuinn Social Work Library for more privacy.
  • Caffeinate— caffeinate, caffeinate, caffeinate.  You’ll catch up on sleep eventually (flight home?)…
  • Secret Snooze— I mastered this baby during an unpaid internship once upon a time.  If you fall in the student-employee ranks, chances are you’ll be extra stressed trying to balance a study and work schedule.  Fortunately, a properly facing desk/cubicle can lend itself nicely to a sitting day nap.  Be sure to avoid slouching and sit up straight, and remember to keep a hand on the computer mouse for the full illusion.

So there you go, all your finals problems solved.  If I failed to address one of your multitasking dilemmas, feel free to shoot me a suggestion on our listserv and I’ll try my best to craft you a solution.  In the mean time, just remember: You. Can. Do it. All. Ready, set, finals!

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