Brianna Sumpter

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Humans of UNC Charlotte: Meet Jennifer Fonseca

Photo by Brianna Sumpter
Fall is my favorite season because it’s the perfect time to volunteer! As president of the Cepa, the Spanish club on campus, I enjoy the fall season because we have multiple volunteer opportunities such as Dia De Los Muertos and International fest. The more you volunteer the more you grow!
– Jennifer Fonseca

5 Reasons Why You Should Volunteer at the Jamil Niner Student Pantry

The Jamil Niner Student Pantry is a food pantry located on the outskirts of campus. Offering a variety of necessities, the food pantry has been expanding to satisfy the needs of the students at UNC Charlotte. Aside from the physical things that you are able to get from the food pantry, they also offer something that every college student can benefit from; the opportunity to be a volunteer. Volunteering at the food pantry is very rewarding, and according to some of the current volunteers, there are multiple reasons why.

Photo by Brianna Sumpter
  1. You have the chance to network. There are numerous volunteers at the Jamil Niner Student Pantry. Once you start volunteering and working in the different areas of the pantry (food, garden, etc.), you will start meeting new people. Also, volunteering at the food pantry means that you will be interacting with some of the businesses that donate to the pantry. Additionally, the volunteer coordinators are also a good resource as far as networking because they can introduce you to all of the other volunteers, or show you where you can find anything you would need to be successful in the pantry.
  2. You receive service hours. Just like any other community service activity, volunteering at the food pantry gives you service hours that you are able to put on your resume. The process to log your hours is very simple and is monitored by the volunteer coordinators. A handful of student organizations on campus require you to have a certain amount of service hours for the year in order to be a member of the club, so this would be a great place to achieve those hours. Regardless if it is required or not, having service hours on your resume looks outstanding when it is time to get a job. The more hours of community service that you have on your resume, the more you stand out from the rest of the people interested in the same job as you.
  3. You gain work skills. According to Yazmine Freeman, one of the volunteers, working in the garden at the pantry has increased her knowledge of plants and how to take care of them. She said “Prior to working in the garden, I did not know that you had to uproot plants. You also have to turn the soil in order for the plant to grow. I now know how to properly take care of the plants.” Another volunteer, Brianna Johnson, says that “Working in the food pantry has helped me as far as knowing how to work as a team.”
  4. You gain leadership skills. According to Ashalee Noble, “Working in the food pantry has helped me learn how to take initiative.” Most of the volunteers that I spoke with started volunteering at the beginning of the semester, and they have already enhanced their leadership skills while being there. Being able to lead by example is very important so that incoming volunteers see what should be done and are able to follow the steps of the other volunteers.
  5. The biggest achievement of all… Being able to help others. When you volunteer your services at the food pantry, whether it is helping sort the food cans out, or work on the garden, you are helping others. Some of our peers around campus depend on the food pantry for their meals, and being able to receive food from the pantry makes a big difference. If you are assisting the pantry in any way, you are making things easier for the people who need it. If your task for the day is to go through the boxed goods and make sure that none of it is expired, then you are assisting with the food safety of others. If you have anything to do with the clothing section of the pantry, then you are assisting the people who need professional clothing but can not afford it. Regardless of what it is that you are doing, you are helping to make the pantry a safe and comfortable place for all students to go to, and that is the most fulfilling thing you could possibly get out of it.

Travel Destinations: Lazy 5 Ranch

Photo by Brianna Sumpter

As the semester progresses, the amount of stress we have progresses as well. Sometimes it is necessary to take some time to yourself, put the textbook down and have some fun. Lazy 5 is the perfect place for that! Lazy 5 is an exotic animal ranch located in Mooresville, NC. Mooresville is about 40 minutes from campus, right outside of Charlotte. Created by Henry Hampton in 1993, the ranch has been a popular attraction to many people of all ages since it has opened. When visiting the ranch, you have the option to either drive your car through the ranch, or go through the ranch on a wagon ride.

Every time I go to the ranch, I drive my car through it, because I feel safer in my vehicle. The wagon rides are supervised by employees of the ranch, and you wont be harmed when getting in the wagon, however, the car is just my personal preference. Also for the wagon rides, they are available by reservations. Regardless of which form of transportation you use, you are going through the same paths of the ranch and you see the same animals.

When you are traveling through this ranch, you see animals such as zebras, pigs, deer, goats, giraffes, antelope, ducks, llamas, and various forms of large cattle. These exotic animals are roaming free through the ranch, and every animal that I have come across is very friendly. When you first get to the ranch, you pay and you are given the option to buy buckets of food to feed the animals with as you go through the trails. I recommend that anyone who goes to this ranch buy at least one bucket of food because if you stop to pet the animals they are going to be highly disappointed that you do not have any food for them. I would also like to recommend that you hold onto the bucket with a strong grip because the large cattle like to try to take the buckets of food from you.

Also, when you enter the ranch, one of the employees at the entrance will tell you specifically not to touch the zebras, and not to feed the zebras. The rest of the animals are allowed to be fed, but you cannot feed the zebras. It is also prohibited to exit your vehicle or the wagon while on the trail. This is for your safety, although these animals are very nice, they are also exotic, wild animals. You are also not allowed to bring any other animals in your car with you, due to safety purposes. As far as paying, it is $11 to enter the ranch for adults, and it is $8 for children as well as for seniors. If you decide that you want to do the wagon ride, it is sixteen dollars for adults, and eleven dollars for children and seniors. Each bucket of food is $3 per bucket, and Lazy 5 Ranch only accepts cash. Monday through Saturday the ranch opens at 9 a.m. and closes an hour before sunset. On Sundays, they open at 1 p.m.

Photo by Brianna Sumpter

Throughout the year they have birthday parties, school field trips and holiday activities, such as their Fall Festival. Starting September 30, Lazy 5 is having a Fall Festival that lasts until October 29, which includes pumpkin picking, interacting with the small animals and playing in the corn box. Personally, the Fall season is my favorite time to go because the weather nice and they have many pumpkins. I would not recommend this ranch to anyone who is scared of animals because these wild animals get very close and personal when you stop throughout the ranch. When you open your window to feed them, they will most likely stick their head in your window. I have been to this ranch seven times, and I have never had anything happen to me, but as previously stated they are wild animals, so always be sure to take precaution. For further questions and concerns, please check out the Lazy 5 Ranch website at https://lazy5ranch.com/welcome.html.

Humans of UNCC Meet: Jordan Hoskins

My favorite thing about football season is being able to sit in the student section and cheer on our team. I am a freshman, so this is my first home game I have attended at UNC Charlotte. Since I have started school, I have been spending a lot of time with my roommates and our neighbors across the hall. I am extremely excited about this football season and I hope we are successful this year.

Picture courtesy of UNCC

Beauty Trends: Squiggly Eyebrows

Trends change like the seasons and this season we have a game changer… Squiggly eyebrows! This may sound ridiculous to many, but this new trend has made its mark on the internet, and on the face of many. This new trend is causing an internet frenzy as it makes its way around Twitter and Instagram. According to the Huffington Post, this trend was started on Instagram. More specifically, it started on the Instagram of Promise Tamang, a famous beauty blogger. The trend started as a joke, as the blogger said she was just trying something new, and doing it for fun. Before she knew it, her post went viral and inspired many to try the daring new trend. This eyebrow trend has been typically seen on women, but it does not discriminate. There have been some images of men on the internet trying out the bold trend also. Most of the people that have been online talking about it and sharing pictures, have been people between the ages of 14 and 25.

Picture Courtesy of Lanartistry

Just like every other fashion trend, people either love it or hate it. There have been mixed reviews online regarding the opinions of the twitter and Instagram fans. Leslie Lott, a student at UNC Charlotte, and an experienced beauty, cosmetics, and skin care representative, is not the biggest fan of the squiggly eyebrow trend. According to Leslie, the new eyebrow trend is ¨not the most amazing thing in the world.” However, she can appreciate and accept the beauty in all makeup and believes the face is the most important canvas a makeup artist can use. Leslie was not surprised at all that this trend surfaced so quickly because new trends transpire every day. Leslie has her own business she recently started, called ¨Touched By Troi¨, which involves makeovers and pointers on how to achieve the best possible skin care. With that being said, the UNC Charlotte student knows a thing or two about makeup and confirmed she would try the growing eyebrow trend, but simply for fun.

It is always important that when regarding fashion trends, the trends constantly change. Earlier this year there was a brief trend on feather eyebrows, but it did not last long and the feedback was mainly negative. I am not surprised this trend is trending, because all it takes to trend online is one post and a bunch of views. According to the hollywoodlife.com, ¨Makeup trends are always changing. It’s all about ditching the old formulas and creating a new one.¨

To master this new look, it is very simple. All you actually need is either an eyebrow pencil or some powder to fill in your eyebrows. Once you have that, the second thing you need is a steady hand and some creativity. If you have all of these things, then you are ready to start working some eyebrow magic. I recommend if anyone is interested in trying this trend, do some more research on it, and give it a try. Every successful and popular trend started somewhere, and if everyone in the world decided they did not want to give it a try, no trend would ever be successful. Figure out what you like and what works for you, and before you know it you will be following all of the hottest trends, and who knows, you might actually start one!

Humans of UNCC Meet: Cameron Corbett

Photo by Brianna Sumpter

“Dancing at UNC Charlotte has changed the way I see dance. I have learned so much through my classes and my professors that will help me expand my career with performing as well as teaching. The technique that you learn at this university helps you with your classes and also enables you to be prepared with your path in other classes outside of school. With being a Gold Duster I am not only exposed to different styles of dance, but I am also able to take my technique and apply it, which has helped me see a tremendous difference. ”

 

 

A walk through the Arboretum

Photo by Brianna Sumpter

If you are like me, you like to try new things. Being open to trying new things and exploring new places is a great thing because you get to experience all different kinds of environments. The next time you are sitting around thinking about what you want to do for the day, I highly suggest that you visit an Arboretum. For those of you that do not know, an Arboretum is a botanical garden devoted to trees and plants. Arboretums are located in multiple cities but the one that stands out the most to me is the Arboretum in Wilmington, N.C.

Located on Oleander Drive, the Arboretum in Wilmington is one of the best places to sit and free your mind. This garden is open every day from eight in the morning to eight at night. The cool thing about this arboretum is that it is free to get in the outdoor garden. The outdoor garden is one of the prettiest sights you will ever see and on most occasions there are not a lot of people there. If you are ever looking for a nice place to read a book or to do homework, this would be a great place for you. The scenery outside is so beautiful, it makes for a perfect background for any special occasion such as taking pictures for a wedding or a graduation. When I graduated from Community College, I took my graduation pictures in the outside garden. The props

Photo by Brianna Sumpter

that are in the trees and plants will make you feel like you are walking through more than a garden. The city of Wilmington also holds special events in this garden such as the Azalea Belle Tea and plant sales. The inside of this arboretum includes several pieces of artwork done by local artists. Every year they hold an annual event called Art in the Arboretum. This event is when the artwork is put in the outside garden for a day and they have an open walk through the garden with music and a little background about each artist. If you are into art, this would be a great event for you to attend. This event is normally the first week in October, which is the perfect time because the weather is cool and it

Photo by Brianna Sumpter

is not too hot to walk around. Inside a separate building they have a souvenir shop for all of the tourists that stop by and check out the garden. In that same building they have experts who are available to speak with for questions about different types of plants and how to properly care for each one. This arboretum offers a lot of information to plant owners and future plant owners and also does a good job keeping the garden extremely sanitary. If you ever have to spend some time in Wilmington, this arboretum also gladly accepts volunteers to help keep the garden clean and the plants watered. One of the best parts about this place is that they are dog friendly. Stop by with your furry friends and take a walk through the nicest garden in Wilmington. For more information on the Wilmington Arboretum, be sure to check out their website http://arboretum.nhcgov.com/.

Better Safe than Sorry

Photo from Flickr

Some people would consider it rather silly to sit down and try to have the ¨sex talk¨ with a college student, simply because that is the talk that your parents have with you when you are much younger. But ironically, a lot of students in college are not aware of that talk and everything that comes with safe sex and safe relationships. Talking about your body and how to keep yourself safe in college is very beneficial, especially because people are coming from all over the world to go to college, so you are meeting so many new people. Do not ever feel as though it is not okay to not be ready for sexual encounters. Nobody knows your body more than you do and you are the sole decision maker of what is going to happen with your body. If you feel as though you are mentally ready for any kind of sexual encounters, always remember you are better safe than sorry. Take the necessary precautions to keep your body as safe as possible. It is always extremely important to remember how valuable you are and how to keep yourself as safe as you can.

Dating and sex in college is inevitable. You come to college as a freshman and are put in dorms with so many people, including those of the opposite sex. The scary part is you do not know where these people are coming from and what kind of life they have lived up until this point in their lives. We come across people with hidden agendas everyday, whether we know it or not. It is extremely important to make sure you make smart decisions when it comes to picking your friends and significant others. As far as significant others, please please TAKE YOUR TIME. Personally, I know how it feels to meet someone and instantly bond with them, especially if you have never had this happen before. The feeling is so new and refreshing it can almost blind your best judgment in situations. To avoid any potential harmful situations, I recommend hanging out with friends in groups of more than three people, especially in the beginning of a relationship. Always make sure that you let at least one or two people know where you are and have a way to contact them at all times. If something seems suspicious or just not right, go with your gut feeling. There have been so many situations in life that can be avoided if you just trust your gut feeling. These days your life depends on it, so trust your gut and recognize negative vibes.

Something that has become extremely popular in this generation is meeting people online. College kids these days live through social media and it has become increasingly normal to meet people online and not think anything of it. As far as online dating, I am personally not a fan of it. I still feel as though meeting someone in person first is more comfortable because you know exactly who they are. Meeting someone online can possibly lead to catfish situations and no one wants that. When it comes to social media and online dating, as usual make sure no matter what you are taking the necessary precautions to keep yourself safe. Do not meet someone in person alone and be careful what you post online. A lot of people find college kids to be very vulnerable due to the fact that we are at the point in our lives where we are still trying to figure out who we really are. Be smart, make good decisions and choose the people in your life wisely.

Humans of UNCC Meet: Tobi Kalejaiye

 

Photo by Brianna Sumpter

“My biggest concern regarding finals is my Spanish final. This final is one of my biggest concerns because it is involving a different language so I need to prepare extra for this one. In order to study and prepare for my Spanish final, I am going to turn the subtitles on in Spanish on Netflix so I can Netflix and study at the same time. I am not too worried about my other finals because most of them are written papers instead of actual tests, but I am still going to study.”

Local Wonders: The WhiteWater Center

Photo by Wikimedia Commons

Spring has just started and now is the time to spend your days outside! Summer is right around the corner and what better way to spend your spring and summer than at the Whitewater Center. The Whitewater Center is located 30 minutes away from campus on Whitewater Center Parkway. Parking is only five dollars for the whole day, or you can purchase a seasonal pass for forty dollars. There are several parking lots which make it extremely convenient for parking. This center includes ziplining, rock climbing, whitewater rafting, kayaking and stand up paddle boarding. They also offer ropes courses and jump classes. There are trails all over the area you can walk along or jog along and they also offer canopy tours as well as zip tours. The best part of all of this is that they are without a doubt dog friendly. You can bring your dog to hangout for the day and get some exercise alongside of you while you walk the trails of the beautiful whitewater center. Depending on the day, they also have concerts that get performed there as well as marathons for runners and bikers throughout the center. Even if you are not really into outdoor sports or are scared to try any of the activities above, it is still a nice place to visit. You can walk around the trails or even just sit in the grass and watch a concert.

Photo by Wikimedia Commons

They also have plenty of benches around the area to sit and eat some lunch or quiet areas to read a book or do some studying. Another cool thing about this place is they have canopies you can rent for the day and lay out in the sun and enjoy the breeze of the water. The raft water along the center makes a great breeze when it gets really hot. The Whitewater center also has food that you can buy here for an affordable price, with plenty of options on the menu. As far as prices go with the outdoor activities, it costs $59 for adults during the peak hours, and $49 for the youth (ages 9 and under). During non peak hours it costs $49 for adults and $44 for the youth. If you were interested in investing in a seasonal pass, the seasonal pass for adults is $199 and for the youth it is $169. With buying a day pass or a seasonal pass comes a waiver that you must sign saying that the Whitewater Center is not responsible for any injuries. This probably seems pricey to a lot of college students and if you are a fan of the activities that they have I would recommend buying a seasonal pass instead of a day pass. If you do not have money to get a day pass I would at least still check the place out, it would make for a great “de-stresser” when you get frustrated with your daily college struggles and to walk around or sit by the water is free. To get some more information on the Whitewater Center visit their website http://usnwc.org/.

Humans of UNCC Meet: Kyra Durham

¨With finals right around the corner, the best advice I can give is to relax. Do something calming such as take a bath or a nap and then start to study for your finals. There is different ways to study of course and there are things online such as rewarding yourself with a treat whenever you have studied for a certain amount of time. I know for me I like to study for twenty minutes, then take a five minute break and repeat that. It is important to breath and to take things slow as well. You should be able to succeed if you review and go over notes that have been taken prior to the test. Do all of these things and you should be good to go with your finals!¨

Procrastination: Why it Can’t Wait!

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Procrastination is something we are all familiar with. It is something we all do, knowing we shouldn’t. We tell ourselves after every situation we put ourselves in, due to procrastination,  we won’t do it again, but we always do. Personally speaking, almost every educational opportunity or experience I have come across at this point in my life has started with procrastination. The purpose of the story I am about to tell is to remind you that yes, procrastinating is something we all do, but it is also something that we should stray away from doing because it has the ability to hinder our productivity. Waiting until the last possible moments to complete a task only takes away from the amount of opportunities you had to make the very best out of the task, not just educationally speaking but also in other life situations.

When I first started at UNC Charlotte (last semester) I was very excited. I just moved here from a different town and I knew maybe two people here. I moved in with my roommates, who were strangers at the time, and it finally hit me that I am now in a new environment and I have no idea where to start in the process of developing my new life. In attempt to meet people and figure out what was exactly for me on campus, I went to the fall showcase. Keeping my studies in the back of my mind I told myself I was only going to sign up for one club so I can stay on track this semester and establish a good grade point average. Seeing all of these clubs and organizations and all of the people in them seemed to be so happy, I decided one just was not enough. I left the showcase signed up for three clubs. I also had seven classes last semester, so I already had a full plate. I can remember so clearly going to my first interest meeting for Toastmasters at UNCC and I was nervous but extremely excited. I was so excited to have met people who had the same interests as me and who seemed willing to be my friends. I had an amazing night at the interest meeting for Toastmasters, but that night, along with most things in life, came with a sacrifice.. I did not do my Spanish homework. I told myself I was going to leave the meeting early to get home and do my Spanish homework, but that did not happen. I met my best friends that night so I like to think that I do not regret staying at the meeting so long, but I also should not have waited until the last minute to think about my Spanish homework. That small story is an example of how my entire semester went. I waited until the last minute for multiple assignments and ended up turning in work that was mediocre compared to what I am capable of. I know we have all had those assignments that we turn in knowing that it is not our best work, no matter what major you are in. Mediocrity is not an option. Settling is not an option, definitely not when you know you are not average. I thankfully passed all of my classes last semester, but not with the grades I was expecting at the beginning of the semester. I know that I did not try my best, and because of that I have to work twice as hard this semester and semesters to come because I decided to be mediocre my first semester. What you put out in life is what you will receive. Try your best, do not wait until the last minute for anything in life because you will find yourself missing out on experiences and questioning your capabilities. I am not mediocre and neither are you.

5 Reasons Why You Should Join A Student Organization

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When I was in the 7 grade, my social studies teacher had a conversation with my class about college. I remember him telling us that college was the best time of his entire life and we should all go to college. In my head I was very confused because I was thinking, why would anyone think school is the best time of their life? My teacher continued to talk about his college experience and how much he loved it and I noticed his experience was not just going to school and doing homework. My teacher was in a fraternity and he was involved in a couple of organizations on his campus. Listening to my teacher in the 7 grade, I could not understand or even imagine why this was such a great time for him. Now, eight years later, I can finally understand what he meant when he said college was the greatest time of his life.

If your college experience only includes you coming to class and doing homework, you are certainly going about your college experience the wrong way. Joining a student organization can be one of the most positive impacts on your college career and I strongly influence everyone to join one that fits them for many reasons:

  1. You meet so many people. Coming into college as a Freshman can be extremely overwhelming. You are entering a new environment, a new scenery and a new life. Not all of us are as fortunate as to go to the same school as all of our lifelong friends, so for most of us starting over and making new friends is something we have all had to do. It is much easier to make friends when you are around people that have the same interests as you. One of the best kinds of organizations to join on campus would be one that is also tied into your major, because not only are you meeting people with the same interests as you, but you are also seeking helpful information about your major at the same time. The student showcase for all of the clubs and organizations on campus is a great way to find what you are interested in, as there are clubs for almost everything on campus.
  2. You can work on your networking skills. What people do not tell you about college prior to entering college is that networking is essential. Having good grades and a good grade point average is still very much necessary, but knowing who to network with and how to network efficiently has become one of the very most important things in college, because as we all know in many situations in life, it is not what you know it is who you know. There are many clubs and organizations on campus that have advisors who were once students and know exactly what we are going through and are willing to help as much as they can. Also, many clubs and organizations hold events throughout the year that have guest speakers that used to be students talk about how they have become successful. You can also find some great internship opportunities when you are involved with organizations on campus.
  3. It looks great on your resume. When building your resume, it can be very stressful trying to figure out exactly what goes in there. You do not want to sound cliche or over stretch the truth at all, but you also want to make it sound like you have accomplished a lot and have a lot of experience. Being in different student organizations gives you something to fill your resume out with and also gives you something to talk about in potential interviews.

    Photo from Flickr
  4. You can work on your professionalism. Referring back to the networking topic, a problem I see often with college students is they do not know how to network because they come short with a lot of the professional skills that you should know of. There have been times where students have had the people they needed to talk to right in front of them but did not know how to talk to them or what to say. Being in different clubs helps because you meet so many different kind of people, and in these clubs they have workshops and dinners about proper etiquette. Organizations such as the American Marketing Association even go as far as having fashion shows showing you what to wear and what not to wear at business events.
  5. You make incredible memories. This is my first year at UNC Charlotte and I am currently active in 4 student organizations. Being in these organizations has taught me so much about myself and so much about the people around me. I have met some incredible friends and have attended some great events due to being in these clubs, such as fashion shows, etiquette dinners, fundraisers outside of school and trips to private companies. I can not count on my ten fingers how much I have gained through these organizations, and I definitely can not tell you how many fun and beneficial moments I have had this year. I strongly encourage you to go out and find an organization that fits you, join and see how much you love it!

If you check out the student orgsync page for UNC Charlotte, you can find all of the clubs and organizations we offer and how to get in contact with them. Also if there is something you are interested in but we do not have a club for it you can contact the student org center and start it here on campus.

Finals Preparation

Preparing for finals is obviously not something we want to do, but it is definitely something we have to do. This time of the semester can be very stressful for students due to the fact a lot of us procrastinate when it comes to studying and final exams can make or break your grade. The key thing to remember when it comes preparing for finals is the realization there is not one set way to study. A lot of people get caught up in looking at study tutorials online and trying to follow the same study habits as their friends but the truth of the matter is there is no set way to study. The best thing to do is to find what works for you and do it. For some people, making flash cards helps. For others, repetition and writing things down works and music works for some people, also. Find what works for YOU and continue to do things that way.

Also, for most people, cramming everything in days before your exam does not work. Not only does it put a lot of pressure on your brain, but it also takes away from the other things you need to be successful when it comes to finals such as sleep and food. So many students spend hours in the library, pulling all nighters and staying awake for days before exams, personally I think that can be very dangerous. Your body needs sleep and without it you are not as alert and are not able to function properly. All of us know the importance of getting good grades on your final exams. For a lot of people, these tests are the deal breakers between letter grades and passing classes. It is understandable that we want to succeed during this time, but what I assure you is that your body needs the proper amount of sleep and nutrition and without it you can become very sick. You can also oversleep and miss an important event in your life, so please keep in mind during this time that sleep is ESSENTIAL.

With that being said, I recommend that you start to prepare for your finals at least 3 weeks to a month before the final. I am aware that might not be practical for some due to jobs and other activities, but the sooner you make time to study, the better the outcome will be. Something I have also found helpful in the past is to study with a group of people. Studying with a group of people gives you the advantage of having multiple perspectives of one situation, and it also allows you to get feedback from your peers regarding the classes that you are in. For me, I have learned that studying with people helps because I have much less of a chance to fall asleep. Like I said earlier, not everything works for everyone, but I would keep the studying in groups option in mind. Only you can determine what works for you, so find your ideal studying habits, focus on what is important, get some sleep, stay hydrated and STAY CALM. If you put your mind to it you can accomplish anything, may your final exams be forever in your favor!