Life Lately, Ohio Edition

Blogging coming at you from another hotel room, another city, another state! Thanks for bearing with me through my biannual finals week struggle and the subsequent drop-off-the-face-of-the-earth! But I’m back, and after I write a conclusion for my last paper the semester will  IS officially be over and I’ll only have two classes left for both my degrees…whaaaat?

Here’s the rundown on what’s been going on recently:

I surprised my family for (American) Thanksgiving…again.

Like junior year I flew home for the holiday without telling a soul but my mother. With other thanksgiving plans falling through and a flight credit to use it turned out to be an easy decision! My grandma thought I was my sister, my sister was most definitely surprised, and my Dad was completely speechless too! Showing up unannounced was a blast and I enjoyed a chill weekend at home (before getting delayed flying through Dallas Fort Worth, grrrr…every time!)

My Senior Meet was two weeks ago,

and emotions were at an all-time high. Not only did my mother come down to celebrate the weekend with me, my sister flew down and surprised me this time!! Turns out they had it planned forever, weeks before I decided to surprise her. The weekend was full of highs and lows, great dives and average dives, and just a lot of weird feelings about it being my Senior meet. I can’t believe it went by this fast (even though our Senior meet was pretty early in the year!) and it meant the world to me that my mother and sister could be there with me.

We beat Iowa State for the fifth year in a row

Yeeeeeeeeah Haaaaaaaaawks!!!!!

And well now I’m in Columbus, Ohio!

Took all my finals early, classic. I swear every second or third semester I’m out of town somehow and have to take all my finals in a day or two. Last week I had a paper due Thursday, paper due Friday, one exam Thursday, two exams Friday, and one paper due this upcoming Friday. Why I like torturing myself like that is beyond me!! Despite the literal hell that was last week with minimal mental breakdowns, I survived and headed to Ohio State for the USA Winter Senior National Championships!

I’m looking forward to a great week of training here in Columbus and a motivational kick in the butt before heading home for Christmas, and then coming back to Iowa for training camp! This year has been flying, I’m borderline uncomfortable with the rate that college will soon be over. That’s a lie I’m not borderline uncomfortable- the thought of life after college makes me want to cry because of how amazing these last four and a half years have been. Those will be blog posts for another day…

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BIANNUAL NOTICE

My twice yearly blog blurb stating I’M SORRY I KEEP MEANING TO BLOG BUT THEN OUR BIG FALL MEET HAPPENED AND NOW IT’S FINALS AND PAPERS AND I HAVE THREE FINALS IN TWO DAYS AND A PAPER TO STILL WRITE SO I’M SORRY I’LL BE BACK NEXT WEEK OKAY!

If I had more time I’d find a nice gif or photo illustrating my emotions over finals, but it’s back to the study grind for me so you’ll just have to base my mood off of the use of all capital letters. And you’re not even getting a selfie because I just wrote a paper in my pajamas. Okay byeeee happy studying!!

How Student-Athletes Study for Finals

…we don’t want to. End of blog post. No one wants to study. It’s a necessary evil of being in college, and being a student-athlete. Combining this finals week with the fact that I am packing to move makes this week extra stressful for me! I’ve written about finals here, and check out where my school studies in this Buzzfeed article.

I’ve been around the finals block eight times now (what) and while I could write more tips and tricks and advice, here’s what I’ve picked up over the years- what athletes try to do when it comes to studying!

 

1. We balance precariously- Yes I’m talking time, but I’m also talking about literal balance. We’ve got ice bags and water bottles and calculators and at any moment we could lose em all! The time balance is crucial, between the studying you have to get in and the practices you’d like to get in. Also, I didn’t move for 25 minutes today reviewing notes because I had a bag of frozen peas on my shoulder. Don’t see that in the library very often.

The struggle

2. While eating- Honest to goodness I don’t think I could study without eating. That’s normal right? It’s brain fuel.

3. While moving- Studying while riding the stationary bike or walking on the treadmill was on the best pieces of studying advice I took to heart! I don’t know the science behind it, if there even is any, but you can get unreal amounts of learning done during this time! Tip: set the treadmill on a high incline so your neck isn’t angled down too far.

4. Looking like we always do- Me during the school year? Sweat pants, an old competition t-shirt, running shoes, no make up, messy bun. Finals week? Sweat pants, an old competition t-shirt, running shoes, no make up, messy bun.

5. Giving ourselves breaks- More often than not you’ll find us squeezing in a workout or a practice here and there. We don’t exactly like days off. Giving out of the house and out of the library gives our brains a REST, and a chance to come back to the books feeling fresh!

6. Not pulling all-nighters– I love sleep. I love to sleep, I hate how I feel without it, I value it’s importance, and 100% of the time I will choose sleep over studying if I still have an early morning the next day.

Happy finals week all if you’re still going (or just starting) like me. Excuse the shorter post, I should be studying :) If you’re already done, I hate you enjoy your summer break!! Tomorrow I’ve got a guest post for you involving a smoothie…in a bowl. Stay tuned!

 

 

Finals are not Final

Like soooo many other students right now, it’s finals time. My last day of school is this Thursday, and next week I’ve got five finals in four days! Yikes! Most everyone else is taking finals now with school ending last week, so strike against Iowa. I decided to compile a to-do list of how to survive your finals with minimum PTSD allowed, just going off of what I know has worked for me in the past!

  • Sleep. If I don’t stay up till 2am doing homework any other time of year, don’t expect me to start now. Knowing me if I sacrificed hours of sleep to learn the material I would forget when and where the final exam was even being taken.
  • Walk or ride. Seriously, walking on the treadmill or riding a stationary bike is the BEST way to memorize note cards. Whether it’s a three inch stack of note cards, five pages of review sheets, or a small book, get your butt moving. If I just try to sit down and read them all it would take is a spec of dust to distract me. Set the resistance or the incline higher so you don’t have to worry about speed and bouncing around too much.
  • This isn’t really a study tip, but I’ve been making a really big effort this year to go to class looking a college senior and not like a freshman dude (sweatpants, ponytail, tired eyes). If I spend zero time on my appearance for finals week, I will feel pathetic and I will act pathetic and I won’t want to leave the house. Take a shower, blow dry your hair, wear jeans to the library because they’re warmer anyways and I swear you’ll be more productive
  • Eat and drink more than coffee and granola bars. You will get a headache.
  • Lay off the computer and spend some time with your books and notes. If you stare a screen all day you will also get a headache.
  • Chill. Just the chill the eff out because finals week will not ruin your life in any way shape or form. As I’m sure you could tell from my earlier bullet points, I’m pretty chill about the whole exam thing. Don’t let it get to you. This time will pass. The exams will come and go, and then it’s Christmas and how can anyone’s life be “over” when Christmas is right around the corner. Just breathe and study what you can and don’t try to cram. Take care of yourself and your body and your mental health and the rest will fall into place. Don’t fight people at the library and don’t chug Red Bull, and don’t fall into the trap of “it’s Finals Week and I have to study more than anybody else to get an A.” Think quality over quantity. Ask for help if you need it. Make time for shopping and baking and laundry. Finals week is just a week.