Get through Finals + (Weird) Traditions

Our Weekly Digest

Every week, we’ll be sending you an email with our favorite news stories, events, and overall advice for getting through school in one piece. Enjoy!

Stick to your Resolutions

Everybody always starts the new year with high ambitions. We want to get in shape. We tell ourselves that this semester we’ll get that 4.0.

But eventually, a month or two in, motivation starts to fade. We “fall off the wagon” when day-to-day life gets in the way.

Two weeks ago, we talked about how long it takes to create a habit. About 66 days. So stick to it – at least for that long. By creating habits instead of goals, you can increase your chances of sticking with your resolutions for the whole year — without trying too hard. Charles Duhigg talks about this in The Power of Habit.

Habits basically have three components:

  • A Cue: If you want to go to the gym more regularly, then maybe a good cue is leaving your gym bag at the door when you go to sleep so that it’s ready to go the next day.
  • A Reward: Once you complete your activity, you’ll want to give yourself a reward, like a piece of candy or a Netflix binge.
  • The Routine: Eventually, you’ll find yourself craving the reward at the cue, which makes it easier to follow through on whatever you want to do.

Check out this article that talks more about habit formation.

Weirdest Holiday Traditions

Think your family is weird over the holidays? Here are some of the world’s strangest Christmas traditions to help you feel a bit better:

  • Kentucky Fried …Christmas? Turns out that in Japan, it’s pretty tough to come across a place that has a full sized turkey or chicken, so KFC started becoming popular during the holidays. KFC capitalized on this with a strong marketing campaign, and now, everyone Japan goes to KFC for Christmas dinner.
  • All-Skate: In the capital of Venezuela, people travel to early morning church services on roller skates, and the government even clears the roads so people can get there safely.
  • Nightmare before Christmas: In Ukraine, many people put a huge artificial spider and a web on their Christmas trees. Apparently this is supposed to bring good luck.

It’s the most stressful time of the year…

The toughest exams of the year are always finals. How is anybody supposed to focus on anything with eggnog and hot chocolate right around the corner?

Here are a few helpful tactics you can use to cram for an exam successfully:

  • The 50 / 10 rule: A big part of why we procrastinate is because we think of all the hours and hours of studying we have to do all at once. Instead, think about studying in “sprints.” Go hard for about an hour, then take a 10 min break to check Facebook or whatever else.
  • Information Chunks: It’s much easier to remember a phone number like 914-657-3241 than it is to remember the same sequence of digits 9-1-4-6-5-7-3-2-4-1. People are able to retain information better if it’s placed in groups, or “chunks.” So instead of randomly reviewing your notes, place each of them in a mental bucket within a separate chapter.

Check out this article for more helpful tactics.

Was 2016 just a prank?

Sometimes it seems like the entirety of 2016 was one giant prank. So many crazy, unexpected things happened and I think we can all agree that it’s time for this year to be over.

But we still had some pranks go down that were pretty funny — here some of the coolest high school senior pranks of 2016:

  • Covering the school in toilet paper: Seniors from this high school covered the entire school with toilet paper, “for all the crap you’ve put us through.”
  • Let’s play a game: These seniors locked all the main entrance doors to their school with chains, flooded the hallways with balloons, and hid the key to the chains in one of the balloons. Genius.

 

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