Thursday, January 22, 2015

How To Survive Finals || a narrative from a first-hand survivor. (at least I think I survived.)

So after I finished my Chem final, I handwrote two pages full of a blog post in red pen, but the problem is my backpack is in the schoolroom, and I'm in my bedroom, and I don't want to walk over there.

Call me lazy, but maybe I just want an excuse to write a lot.

I AM DONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Finals are over. Over. OBVEEEERRRRERERERERERER!@!!!~!!!~!~#$r%$#$^$#^t

(those are my emotions right now)

Begone, Scantrons! Go away, tests-that-I-can't-write-on-because-other-people-have-to-use-them-after-me! You will perish until June!




Okay, I'm done.

I'm done with finals for another--what is it? Four months? Yay!

Words can't express. 

Since I survived it (I think), I have compiled a list of Survival Tips in order to survive finals. I don't know, it may be too late, but probably somewhere in the world people are about to take finals, so whatever. Hope this helps. 

I cast my eyes against the stormy gray sky. Such was the stuff of my dreams, my heart, my soul.

For FINALS had arrived.

Looming, cloudy gray, threatening to rain on my hopes and dreams of decent grades and admission into a good college...much like the horror and despair I felt inside. Tears dripped from my eyes, in a wet eyelashes, which were short and small because I'm Asian, catching them like the furry pine trees in the distance--in case you're wondering why on earth I'm being like this, I'm just trying to paint a picture--you know what, whatever. Here's how to survive finals.


Here's the thing: during finals you are not entitled to free time. Just keep telling yourself that. Because the truth is, YOU NEED TO STUDY. Studying WILL TAKE UP ALL YOUR FREE TIME. Do not expect otherwise. All your social time with your friendy-wendys. Your 2-hour-long naps. (I still don't get why people take naps. I personally try to sleep as little as I can without bugging my conscience.) But don't worry, being antisocial is not going to really ruin any meaningful relationships--my finals lasted only three days long. So I was only in the cave for three days long (actually, four, because I had to study for AP Euro. Maybe I should count that entire week before it too, because I spent the majority of my free time typing study guides. But you don't have to do that.)


There are two types of studying.
One type of studying I like to call The Zone. The Zone is the ultimate studying flow you should hit. It's when you're reviewing the facts, zoned out of the real world, and all that matters is that the Treaty of Cateau-Cambresis ended the Hapsburg-Valois Wars, and honey you don'ta needa care about the fact that the New England Patriots stinking CHEATED on that last football game, because who cares about Tom Brady when you could learn about Thomas More or actual England itself, because who needs New England, especially when it's full of cheaters? Sheesh. The Zone is where logarithms and the directrix and focuses come to life and when you remember how to do point-slope formula you do your own little touchdown dance right there, in the End Zone. (If you got that, you're awesome and know your football dirt. Either that, or you've been playing Trivia Crack way too much.) 

Then there's the second type of studying. (I'm getting to the music part. Just wait.) I call it the Self-Congratulatory-You're-So-Stinking-Awesome-for-Studying-So-Much kind of studying (SCYSSAFSSM) for short. SCYSSAFSSM is the kind of studying where you're reviewing your notes and bumping Demi Lovato's "Really Don't Care" in the background and thinking about how stinking awesome you are for studying and then you start imagining that bright, shiny A on the top of your paper, and the teacher congratulating you and commending you to all five of his/her periods but you aren't the teacher's pet because everyone knows you're way too cool for that. (Notice how I did not spell "cool" the right way.) 

And then you take your test and because you didn't actually memorize the material, just read about it and agreed with the experts on their marvelous opinions on gamma decay, you forget every little bitty thing you ever reviewed and that's when you realize that your studying was the SCYSSAFSSM kind of studying, and that you weren't in the Zone.

Actually, these three paragraphs have nothing to do whatsoever with music. But music distracted me from being in the Zone and kept me in the SCYSSSAFSSM mode, which is probably why the Spanish final was hard for me.


I ate a lot during finals week. I think it was the stress. It also didn't help that we always have junk food in our house (my dad likes the stuff) so I was eating white bread (*gasps*) and ice cream and Reese's Peanut Butter Cups (BEST THINGS EVER) and Cheddar-Sour-Cream Lays. I needed to, after I felt like I failed my Spanish and math finals. (Thank God I didn't.) 


This may sound contradictory to Point #1. But note how I said only to get in the mindset of it. Because when you're in the antisocial, studying Zone-y mindset, a break is wonderful. But at the same time, you realize that this is a very special break and you really don't deserve this because you should be studying and so you take a short break and get back to it. The mindset is all that matters. 

But yes, you are allowed to take breaks. I took dozens of them, a lot of little ones, and studied twice as long. (Sort of.)


Why did I study so hard? 

Guys, this is my education. I'm 15 and in three years, I'll be in college.

3 years. That's not very long, considering how quickly babies seem to turn 3. Like seriously. How do they get so old?!?!

But high school...It's only four years of your life, but it does have a decent-sounding impact on your adult life. Like where you're going to go for college, and where you go for college helps determine what kind of job you're going to get (because a lawyer from Harvard is more prestigious than a lawyer from...well, actually, I've only heard of the Harvard law school. See? Point made.) 

Say I do horribly in school because I really don't care. I'll take a couple community college classes, live at home with my parents, work at Stater Brothers. There's nothing wrong with working at Stater Brothers, of course. If that's where God wants you to be, that's where you are.

But it's no excuse for being lazy.

It's one thing if I try super hard in school, get accepted to a really good college, and then there's a family emergency and I have to come back home to help take care of my parents. That is necessary.

It's another thing if I don't try hard at all and end up at Stater Brothers because I didn't try. 

I don't want to have to look back and think, I wish I'd studied more when I was in high school. I don't want to have regrets, that I didn't study when I could've, that I didn't give it the most I could possibly do, because I accepted everyone saying, You're young. Have fun. If I'm young and have what everyone says is fun now, I won't have fun later because I'll be too busy regretting having "fun" when I was young.

You still with me? 

I can control the amount I study. I can't control the outcome or emergencies or anything, but I can control that. And that's why I study so hard.

No regrets.

It doesn't mean you have to study all the time, or that it's the only thing in this life that matters. Have some fun, too. Don't forget Who you're doing this for. But God loves productivity and hates laziness. Don't forego studying for Chem to watch YouTube and blame it on God. 

The impact of your decisions, of my decisions, will come back sooner or later.

No R3gr3ts.

And that's how you survive finals. You're doing this for God, so you're studying hard so you can have a future that pleases Him. Sure, things will probably not go the way I plan, or the way you plan, or the way anyone plans, because, well, God is God. He does stuff. It's awesome. And yes, I will probably have regrets. I'm not perfect. I'm actually very, very, very far from perfect. 

But working hard honors God, and fruit will come from it. Believe me.


  1. I need music to get in the zone, personally. Lecrae is best, I find. HOW DARE YOU EAT WHITE BREAD!! xD I actually hardly eat while studying. I drink coffee, and generally give food a miss until 2ish in the afternoon.

    Doing it for God is what makes all the hard work so worth it. I'm glad you made it out alive!! :)

    1. Coffee! Wow! You can stand the taste?!

      And thanks for always commenting on my posts...they always make my day :-)

    2. I DRINK SO MUCH COFFEE. I've been drinking real coffee for 3 years now and without it I would not be able to function.

      No problem :) I tagged you over at my blog :)

  2. Coffee is an absolute life saver!