Bountiful Blessings

Hey friends! It has totally been such a long time since I’ve posted. I guess that reflects how busy the last week of class and exam week is…? Anyways, what matters is that I’m posting now! I just want to share how my last week of class as a junior was, and how my exam week is going. It’s crazy for me to believe that I am leaving Hope in 3 days, and I am flying to Europe in less than a week. Seriously, time flies when you’re having fun and are busy. I’m going to be senior in a short 3 days. THAT’S CRAZY. I’m going to start with my Easter weekend, so you can get the whole picture.

EASTER: Easter break was the “calm” before the storm. In the sense that the last week of class was going to be so very hectic. But Easter was wonderful. I spent time with my family, and family time is always a good time. I’m so glad that I saw my cousins, and most of them too! We’re all busy, and just coming together for a short couple of hours was perfect. Here is a picture of my crazy cousins!

Here are some of my cousins!
Here are some of my cousins!

After Easter dinner, I drove back to Holland to face one of my craziest weeks out of my entire semester. Why, you might ask? Well, I had two finals for two of my nursing classes. I came back a little early so I could get a head-start on studying. But before I studied, I went out to dinner with some of my best friends. It was awesome because 1) it was very warm that Sunday, and 2) we took my friends car and the top goes down. So essentially,i it was a convertible thingy. All that matters is that I started looking forward to summer even more!

MONDAY: Last Monday, I had my last Adult Nursing lecture. YES. The only thing that was frustrating was that we still had so much material to cover for our exam that same week. Typical nursing though. After our 4-ish hours of lecture, it was time to grab a bite to eat, then study all night. And by all night, until 2:00 a.m. I know, sounds pretty fun right!?

TUESDAY: Tuesday morning, I had my practicum evaluation with my nursing professor. The purpose of the evaluations was to identify my strengths and areas for growth, and for me to know how well I did in the clinical setting. And let me tell you, I can’t complain! Evaluations, no matter from which clinical and professor is affirming for me. I know every time that I go into an evaluation that I want to be a nurse, regardless how stressful our days are! After, I just studied, for the rest of the day until late in the morning. Another pretty eventful day (sarcasm).

WEDNESDAY: Wednesdays are always busy. In the morning, I had my Advanced Adult exam, and I was just happy to get that out of the way. Following that exam, I studied more and prepared for my classes that day. In our nursing research class, we had presentations (I did mine last week) and we just listened peer proposals for research. Let me tell you, a lot of students do not like this class, but as the nerd I am, I really enjoyed it. This is something I want to do with my life, research!! After my long day of class, it was time to study again, for the third day in a row. WOO. But before I could do that, I had my first SAC meeting for the 2014-2015 school year as a director. I’m SO EXCITED for SAC next year!

THURSDAY: I studied all week, so Thursday was the day to prove to myself, as well as my professor, that I know my material. And I did. All of my hard work paid off. I got an excellent grade on a nursing exam. And it’s a nursing exam, so that’s saying something! After my exam, it was straight to bed because I only got 4 hours of sleep the night before. When I woke up from my extended nap, I had the opportunity to participate in a focus group regarding nursing central stations. It was a great experience! In the end, those who participated received a gift cards to Lemonjello’s. SCORE, coffee for DAYS. After the focus group, I watched Parks and Rec to help me wind my week down.

FRIDAY: So much to talk about! On the last Friday of class, Hope College SAC has an event called Spring Fling. And oh my goodness, what a perfect way to celebrate after one school year! Spring Fling had a special value for me this year because I, along with 3 other SAC members planned the event. And it was just so rewarding to see everyone having fun and celebrating. You can’t beat smiles!! Here is a slideshow of pictures of some of my fellow SAC members and friends at Spring Fling!

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Okay friends, that’s all for now. I still have so much to tell you all before the year comes to a close! Be on the look out! Thanks again!

Finals Week For Dummies (or college students)

It’s that time of the year again, FINALS WEEK! Firstly, I would like to welcome all of the freshmen to finals week. I just want to share some tips with all of you on how to survive this week. For those of you in high school, read this to prepare yourself! It’s never too early to start getting ready! Freshmen, you might find this useful as this is your first set of finals. Sophomores, Juniors, and Seniors, I know you have been through finals at Hope before, but maybe you can learn something new. Well, here we go!

SLEEP SLEEP SLEEP:

Ok, so you might think I’m crazy, but sleep is so important during finals week. Without it, you won’t be able to retain anything you learned, and you will lose your focus easily. Not to mention you’ll be fatigued, then that could lead to less studying. Research shows that for optimal learning, you need a minimum of 9.25 hours of sleep each night. So, this means that if you sleep this long, the neuronal connections in your brain strengthen, which causes a retainment in learning! Cool, huh? Anyway, you should make sleep your priority. With enough sleep, you won’t need that coffee because you will have all the energy you need!

PRIORITIZE!

Obviously, we all have more than one exam (with the exception of a fewer people…). Prioritize your studying in accordance to difficulty, date, or both! In order to do this, you have to manage your time. Plan out your week, and in doing so, you’re setting it in stone (for yourself). If you follow your plan, you’d be surprised how effective it can be! For example, if you have a cumulative exam on Tuesday, but just an exam on new material on Monday, make sure you have been studying your exam for Tuesday, but make room for the new stuff too. Remember, you can’t remember an entire semester in a couple of days. Planning ahead and prioritizing work is KEY!

DE-STRESSING 

Stress is super common during finals week. If you haven’t read about my stress blog post here! I’m just going to summarize a few points here. If you’re stressed, there is no way that what you are studying will retain. It is so important to give yourself breaks while studying. Splitting your study sessions are effective, and give your brain time to process the new information! EXERCISING is a great way to de-stress. You literally kill two birds with one stone in doing so. You are doing something healthy for your body, and you’ll feel great afterwards, so studying will be easier because you’ll have motivation! And exercising prevents you from getting sick, and this is something that happens to so many of us.

STAY HEALTHY!

Make sure you don’t compromise your health during finals week. If anything, you should be eating healthier! You’ll get more energy and you’re helping your body out. Eating healthy and staying active reduce your chances of getting sick, which will keep you focused for your studying and your exams!

In Conclusion…

I can guarantee you that if you take at least some of my advice, your finals week will get a little better. For those of you at Hope, or who have finals this week, GOOD LUCK! We can all get through this week. Study hard and take care of yourselves. Try your best, but remember, grades don’t define who YOU are! It’s your effort, dedication, and work ethic that define you! God bless, and I will post again soon! If you haven’t already, make sure to read some of my other posts during your study break and follow me on twitter!

P.S. If you are a student who applied to Hope and was accepted, CONGRATULATIONS! All of your hard work has paid off, and everyone at Hope is ready for you 🙂 I wish you luck in your college decision-making process!