College

Find all of Emma Lenhart’s blog posts about the college experience and more on this page.

If you ever want to see a college student at their most stressed out, visit them during finals week. Although finals are made to truly test your knowledge and learning in a course, they have somehow turned into an all-out stress inducer for college kids across the nation. However terrifying college finals may seem, you do seem to always get through them, and the sun rises the next day. But do you know how to study effectively for a final?

Knowing how to study effectively is important as you can spend less time studying, but get more from your sessions, which will help you perform better on the test. Below you will find some of my best tips for killing it on your next exam. These are my tried and true tips that I personally use myself during finals!

Psst! I have another post about more general study tips for college. Click here to read that post about 25 study tips for college.

How to Study for Finals

How to Study Effectively for Your Final Exams

Get a Study Buddy

Be sure to take advantage of the other peers in your class when approaching a final. Chances are, they are just as freaked out about the final as you are. Because of this, you have the opportunity to possibly study with someone from the class.

A practical way to find a new study buddy in your class is to just simply ask someone in person after class! Perhaps there is a person you sat next to all semester long or even a new friend you might have made. If you are too shy to ask in person, think of emailing them (check the class roster) or shooting them a Facebook message.

Having another person from your same class to study with is so beneficial, as you can help quiz each other on course topics, and also clear up any misunderstandings about the content of the course. While you could just study on your own or with another friend, having someone who sat alongside you in the class will prove to be more helpful as you know they are in the same boat as you! Strength in numbers, right?!

Revisit Course Content

Let’s imagine that in an ideal world you have been staying on top of your course-work all semester long, and have been reading your textbook every night. Wow! That’s great.

Now, let’s take a look at reality and realize that you probably missed an assignment or two, and haven’t been hitting up that textbook as much as you’ve been hitting up that new season of Scandal on Netflix.

The great part about finals week is that you have time to revisit old course content that you may not have fully understood when first learning it, or might not have even read/studied it the first time around. Professors are looking to check your comprehension of the course in final exams, and will probably be pulling questions and content for the final from the entirety of the course.

Make sure to flip through your textbook and familiarize yourself with all of the course terms, theories, and concepts. You don’t want to be kicking yourself the day of the final when you realize the answer to a question was straight from the textbook! Also, ask to meet with your professor during their office hours to ask any questions or for further clarification on the course.

Prioritize Studying

I’ve heard people in my classes complain before that they were “too busy to study” or “wish they could’ve studied more.” While yes, there are sometimes physical and immovable limitations on our schedules, studying should really become a priority for you during finals week if you want to perform well.

A favorite way of mine to prioritize studying is to physically plan out and write in my planner the times that I will be studying for my test throughout the week. Having a set time written out and blocked off from the rest of your activities will protect your precious free time, and prepare you for when it’s time to take the test. Don’t be the whiney girl that’s upset with herself when final grades are returned!

Find Your Study Spot

Having somewhere sacred on campus (or in the surrounding areas) for you to study is key during finals week. Whether it is in the campus library or the nearby Starbucks, having somewhere to go where you can clear your head can really help you get into the studying “zone.”

It’s imperative to have a quiet place to study at where you feel comfortable and free from distractions. Sure, your bed might be comfy, but will you be tempted to doze off during studying or pull out your computer to Netflix + chill by yourself? Take an honest look at where you normally study (and with who!) before you go to study for your next final. Personally, I like to go to a coffee shop that is off-campus so that I am in a quiet environment, surrounded by other people that are usually doing work or something of the sort. Studying in the library on my college campus personally stresses me out and makes me feel more overwhelmed, but every person’s preference is different! 

Give Yourself a Break

I know, this may sound like a paradox. Give yourself a break?! On finals week? No way.

Yes way. I believe that you should study and prepare for tests as best as you possibly can, but also realize at the end of the day that exams are somewhat out of your hands and there is only so much you can do leading up to them. Give yourself a study break every now and again, and remind yourself that the result of this final will not alter the rest of your life significantly. If you follow the tips in this post on how to study effectively and try your best, you really can’t be too mad at yourself 😉


How do you prepare for finals and finals week? Share any of your study tips in the comments!

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It’s that time of year when high-school seniors are touring colleges all over the nation, in search of which school they will end up at next year. This time of year is so stressful for many, and the idea of finding college scholarships can only add to that stress. Finding scholarships for college should not be taking up all of your time!

I have rounded up all of my best tips and resources for finding scholarships. I spent a lot of time my own senior year looking for scholarships, and got pretty good at it in the process! So learn from my success (and mistakes!) and let’s find you those precious scholarships!

Want to read more of my posts about college? Check out:

How to Find Scholarships

Resources to Find College Scholarships

Check with Your Guidance Counselor

The first place you should look for scholarship opportunities is with your own high school guidance counselor. My guidance counselor in high school gave me a HUGE packet of scholarships that I could possibly apply to. The great thing about this resource is that most of these scholarships are local, meaning that they come from organizations and corporations in your high school’s town. Having knowledge of these scholarships put you at an advantage against some of your peers who may not think to ask their guidance counselor about local scholarships.

Unigo

Unigo is a great online resource for finding scholarships. The website exists as a hub for scholarships, and you can log on to browse all of the opportunities and find some that may fit you. The possibilities are really endless on Unigo. You can even create a profile on Unigo to use that will match you to the best scholarships based on your profile.

Scholarships for High School Seniors Unigo

Another thing I like about Unigo is that you can browse the scholarships by category (see picture above.) Unigo has scholarships that you can search for by your current state, major, and more. Don’t miss out!

Tip: New scholarships are released pretty much every day. Don’t check online for scholarships once and think that is enough! I would recommend checking once a week for any new opportunities.

College Visits

Another great way to find out about scholarships as a high school senior is to meet with someone from the financial aid office when you are on a college campus visit. The financial aid office at colleges expects these meetings to happen and should be more than happy to meet with you, a prospective student, about the real cost of attending their school/university.

Email the school you are visiting ahead of time and inquire about the possibility of setting up an appointment during your visit of the school with the financial aid office. Once you solidify a time, make sure to come up with some questions that you would like to get answered when you visit. Does the school offer any specialized scholarships? What advice do they have for getting scholarships to attend their school? Be respectful + they should be happy to help!

Family Employment

Check with your parent’s employer to see if they offer scholarships for high school seniors! This is often overlooked and it’s a shame because it really is right under your nose. If you don’t feel comfortable or don’t know how to find about scholarships, ask your parents if they would be willing to get you in contact with someone at their work or ask a supervisor themselves.


Tips for Applying to Scholarships

Give it Your All

Scholarships are tricky because, a lot of the time, it’s out of your hands whether or not you will get the scholarship in the end. To help your odds, make sure that you are giving your scholarship applications 100%. Whether it’s just a questionnaire or a long-form essay, make sure that you are trying to convey the best version of yourself. Don’t blow off any application or think you will “never be selected”…you just never know!

Make a Shortlist

Finding college scholarships to apply to can be overwhelming, but once you do find a handful of scholarships to apply to, make a shortlist. Keep a list of the scholarship name, due date, and requirements so that you don’t miss any part of what’s required. Doing this will help you feel less overwhelmed with keeping all the information straight. It’s a life-saver!

Apply to Many

When I was a high school senior, I probably applied to 10-15 different scholarships. These scholarships were a mix of local and national scholarships, but that didn’t matter to me. Apply to as many scholarships you can, to help boost your chances of being selected for at least one. Don’t be lazy with your college scholarship applications…you will kick yourself for not putting more effort in when you see all of your classmates getting scholarship money!


What are your best tips for finding college scholarships? 

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Ah, test anxiety. Unless you are super-human we’ve probably all experienced the nervous butterflies that happen before taking a test. One great way to counteract those nervous and negative vibes are to prepare well and study for the exam. I’m bringing you 20 study tips for college students you can use the next time you are prepping for a test.

As a college sophomore, I’ve endured my fair share of hard tests and exams in my college career. There have been tests I’ve anticipated failing just from rumors from peers, and have actually been able to score a B or better on. The key in acing tests is preparation and being smart about how you study.

Studying for just 30 minutes before a test or the night before doesn’t really cut it in college. Especially if you really want to excel and see your grades rise. Finding a way of studying that works well for you will help make studying for tests feel like less of a dreadful chore, too. Kinda 😉

Want to read more of my posts about college? Check out:

These study tips for college will help you to realize which content from the class is important, and might be on the test. Make sure to utilize all of your resources (including your noggin), and you’ll be halfway to an A+!

College Study Tips

20 Study Tips for College Students

  1. Map out any upcoming tests you may have in your planner so you know they are approaching for weeks in advance.
  2. Refer back to your syllabus to see if your professor provides information like how the exams are laid out or formatted.
  3. Ask your professor for a study guide.
  4. If your professor doesn’t have a study guide, ask them how they recommend best preparing for the test. This will tell you what you should spend your time focusing on.
  5. Turn off your phone when studying to prevent any distractions.
  6. Find a “study buddy” if it will help you.
  7. Ask your “study buddy” to quiz you informally or help you play term-memorizing games.
  8. Make a plan for how you plan to study.
  9. Find somewhere comfortable to study. It could be your dorm room, a residence hall lounge, or the library…whatever feels right to you.
  10. Remain positive! Remind yourself you can do it.
  11. Repeat affirmations to yourself before the test in your head, like “I know the material well and feel prepared.”
  12. Don’t save all of your studying for the night before the test!
  13. Re-read textbook chapters that your professor went over during lecture.
  14. Rewatch lectures from class if your professor allows your class to record him/her.
  15. Find out if you are a visual, auditory, or haptic learner and adjust your studying to fit those needs.
  16. Repetition in studying is key! Don’t review a topic just once and expect yourself to recall the information days later. Re-visit content multiple times.
  17. Make flash cards if your content is something that has a lot of terms/vocabulary. I like to use Quizlet.com for online flashcards on various topics.
  18. Quiz yourself on your commute to take the test on exam day.
  19. Ask your professor for help understanding a topic while you are studying, (before the exam.) It’s better to ask than to wish you would’ve clarified that one tricky concept when you’re in the middle of the test.
  20. Learn from your mistakes (and past exams.) What could you do better in preparing for the next exam? Do you need to visit your professor to get some extra help?

Time Management

Personally, I like to study a little bit every night before a big exam, starting about a week out. This helps me break down the topic of the exam into smaller, bite-size pieces that seem a lot less overwhelming to me. Studying doesn’t have to last for 10 hours in the library until 3 a.m. if you plan out your time well and use it effectively.

How to Use Your Professor In Preparation

I find among my peers that lots of them never ever visit the professor or talk to them outside of lecture or class-time. This is absurd! Professors (most of the time) genuinely want to help you succeed and have a grasp on the course’s content. Make sure to include your professor as you prepare for a test. Refer back to your syllabus and see when your professor has their office hours. Go and visit your professor and ask for any unclear topics to be clarified. Or, simply just email them whenever a quick question you have arises when studying. I promise you won’t regret asking for help, and it will show them that you are really trying your best and taking the class seriously.


What are your best study tips for college students? Do you have any favorite tricks?

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Packing to go away to college can seem like a huge, daunting task. I know I was nervous when I was getting ready to leave home that I would forget something crucial…especially because I attend a school 6 hours away from home. However, having a packing and college shopping list while getting everything together for the big move-in day can be so helpful!

I’ve racked my mind and have listed out all of the amenities and supplies that I could possibly think of. I only lived in the dorms for one year, but I know about what you typically can and cannot bring with you, and have tried to take those into accommodation in this college shopping list.

Want to read more of my posts about college? Check out:

College Shopping List

A Complete College Shopping List

Make sure you have everything you need for success at college by following this shopping and packing list!

For School Supplies

For The Bathroom

  • Disinfecting Wipes
  • Robe
  • Bath Towels
  • Hand Towels
  • Shower caddy
  • Loofah
  • Shower shoes (or flip-flops)
  • Foaming shower cleanser
  • Toilet bowl cleaner
  • Swiffer Wet Jet

For Your Bed

For The Kitchen

  • Basic pots + pans
  • Tupperware
  • Silverware
  • Cups
  • Bowls
  • Plates
  • Soup bowl
  • Coffee mugs
  • To-go coffee mug
  • Microwave
  • Oven mitts
  • Chip clips
  • Hand soap
  • Plastic wrap
  • Aluminum foil
  • Spices/seasonings
  • Can/bottle opener
  • Trash bags
  • Paper towels
  • Napkins

Food + Snack Ideas

  • Ramen (a classic!)
  • Chicken Noodle Soup
  • Easy Mac
  • Coffee grounds
  • Coffee creamer
  • Clif bars
  • Instant oatmeal
  • Cereal
  • Fresh fruit/veggies
  • Popcorn

For The Dorm Room

For Your Closet

For Your Desk

For Personal Use

  • Straightener
  • Curling Iron/wand
  • Facial cleanser
  • Makeup removing wipes
  • Toner
  • Facial moisturizer
  • Hair brush
  • Hairspray
  • Body wash or shower gel
  • Cold medicine
  • Pain relieving medicine
  • Cough/sore throat drops
  • Vitamins
  • Razors
  • Shaving cream
  • Lotion
  • Shampoo and conditioner
  • Band-Aids
  • Tissues
  • Nail polish remover
  • Stain remover pen
  • Cotton balls/pads
  • Feminine care products
  • Deodorant
  • Vaseline

Other Random Stuff


Items Usually Not Allowed in College Dorm Rooms

The following items will most likely be confiscated if found in your dorm:

  • Candles
  • Space heaters
  • Clothes iron
  • Dumbells/Free Weights
  • Nails for the wall/hanging
  • Toasters
  • Plug-in air fresheners
  • Oil burners

I know that sometimes students like to break these guidelines, but RA checks do happen frequently and your stuff can be taken away from you or you can be reported if you break the guidelines.

Tips for Move-In Day

  • Recruit family members and friends to help move you in! It will take several trips (and hours) to move all of your stuff in if you just bring your mom. Bringing extra people also helps as you will probably want one person to stay by the car with the rest of your stuff.
  • Try and use suitcases with wheels on them to make the process easier. Also, try and put heavier items in rolling suitcases so you can roll them to your room instead of carrying. You’ll thank me later!
  • Enjoy the process. Moving in can be stressful but I remember the day I moved into my dorm room vividly. My family + I played fun music while moving in and it made the process so much more fun and bearable.

Have any other ideas to add to this college shopping list? Tell me in the comments!

Pssst! If you liked this post + learned something new, I would love for you to share it with your friends. Sharing this post takes just a few seconds + helps with the growth of this blog. Click the blue social sharing buttons to the left or at the top of this page. Thank you!

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