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Posts Tagged ‘finals’

CultureHow-to

Three Apps to Beat Procrastination

A mere month into the academic year, midterms are in full swing and have caught some of us relatively off guard. This, coupled with our tendency to procrastinate, usually leaves us in a less-than-enviable position. Whether you prefer to dismiss procrastinating as a personal bad habit, character flaw or what have you, procrastination is more or less universal – we all procrastinate. But before you decide to put off another study session, we here at Mojo have a few apps that will help you beat procrastination and give you an edge when crunch time rolls around. Without further ado, here are some of our favorites:

1) Strict Workflow

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This Chrome app blocks all social media and any other site that might take away from your work for 25 minutes. You can delete the app, or even reboot your computer, but those websites will still be blocked until the timer runs dry. While this might come across as a bit harsh, it all but guarantees a period of productivity for the user. Moreover, after each 25-minute session, the app allots the user 5 minutes of free time, which is plenty of time for you to check up on your social media outlets. If you feel like you need help working out a moderately healthy balance of work and play, Strict Workflow might be an excellent option for you. (Strict Workflow on Chrome Web Store)

2) Yelling Mom

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Named after the original bane of one’s procrastination, this mobile app is arguably every bit as effective as its namesake. Operating on the premise that aggressive prodding is the optimal method of motivating an individual to complete any given task, Yelling Mom takes you to task by reminding you of your scheduled tasks via a sizable host of obnoxious alerts. These alerts range from disco music to sirens to car alarms. Interestingly enough, the sound file of an actual nagging mom is not included as an option. Notwithstanding, if your mother was your motivator at any given point in life, it probably wouldn’t hurt to give Yelling Mom a shot. (Yelling Mom on iTunes)

3) Write Or Die

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This app is positively diabolical. Its unforgiving nature has actually attracted attention (and perhaps a grudging endorsement?) from The Guardian. By incentivizing productivity with pictures of kittens and puppies, Write or Die seems innocuous enough prima facie. But don’t be fooled, because that’s where the other foot drops: if this app catches you slacking, it will start deleting your work. In fact, the most recent edition of Write or Die has made it so that upon a detecting the passage of a predetermined period of inactivity, the app will start selectively deleting every vowel in your piece, effectively disemvoweling (haha, get it?) your work and leaving it an unintelligible husk of gibberish. Talk about taking the carrot-and-stick method to the next level! But if you subscribe to the “go hard or go home” mentality, this app was made for you. (WriteOrDie.com)

How do you deal with procrastination? Comment below, let us know! Or alternatively, tweet us @dbmojo.

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Campus news

Study Spots for the Outdoorsy #STL

The dudes from the MTV show “Jersey Shore” coined the term “GTL.” But given that it’s ninth week and finals are just around the corner, at UCLA we drop the gym and the laundry and substitute it with studying and learning. And that, my friends, is how #STL was born. (Yes, it’s a thing.)

This time of the year, the hill by Janss Steps and Kerckhoff patio get all of the love from those who like to avoid studying indoors. So for those of you who also prefer to enjoy the L.A. sunshine but would actually like to find a place to sit, here are nine outdoor study spots at UCLA where you can live up to the “study, tan, learn” motto. Ditch the library, leave your room and study in the great outdoors.

1. The Bombshelter 

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This place is officially called the Court of Sciences Student Center, but let’s be real, no one calls it that. The Bombshelter is one of the most highly underrated areas on campus. Plenty of outdoor seating and unlimited access to food make it the ideal place to study. Grab your course readers, devour a Subway sandwich and soak up some knowledge in the sun.

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Arts & Entertainment

8 Ways Hermione, Elle Woods and Other Smarties Ace Their Exams

It’s FINALLY finals week. Whether it’s your first finals week here at UCLA or you’re a seasoned pro, here are some study tips that are tried and true from some of the smartest characters on your Netflix queue. If all else fails, go rub the bear. (more…)

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How-to

Fall Finals Week: Campus Resources 101

Hear ye, hear ye! We know you Bruins are gearing up for finals week and freaking out about it – we see it on Facebook and Twitter (#nosocialife #nofuture #nosoul), so we’ve compiled some information about resources on campus that could help make it a less stressful week (If you don’t like free coffee or free food, we advise you to halt and exit this browser window, Ebenezer Scrooge!) Here’s a list of our favorite hot spots:

Student Activity Center (SAC)

  • Food closet: You can either contribute and help out financially struggling students or take some goodies for yourself. There is also a communal fridge where you can store your fresh lunch (just label with name, date and department).
  • Computer lab: F-R-E-E printing!!!
  • Economic Crisis Response Team’s meal vouchers: Sign up for a meal voucher and you can eat one free meal a day on the hill. Make sure to check the schedule for pickup at UCLA CPO office.
  • Fitness Improvement Training Through Exercise and Diet (FITTED): Blow off some steam and workout! You can checkout shoes and other equipment for free as well as attend workshops.

Ackerman Student Union

  • Twenty-four-hour access to study spaces: Yep, it’s true. You even have access to the Coinz Gameroom for late night study breaks. All-nighters have never been this easy.
  • Electronics charging station: Charge (or store) your laptop or iPhone in one of these 14 compact lockers located on the first floor of Ackerman Student Union food court.
  • Late night transportation: UCLA Community Service Officers will provide free rides to dorms, apartments and parking lots every hour on the hour from 3:00 a.m. – 7:00 a.m. (meet at Ackerman A-level at the information window).
Kerckhoff Coffeehouse
  • Coffee: F-R-E-E freshly brewed coffee will be served from 9:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.
  • More free coffee: Still need your caffeine fix? After 11:00 p.m., hot coffee will be served next door at the Kerckhoff Art Gallery.
Powell Library
  • Study rooms: Reserve a study room at MyCLICC Center if you want that extra privacy.
  • Equipment checkout: Reserve a Macbook for four hours or a projector for two hours (but we advise against hosting a screening of Breaking Bad or Game of Thrones… now is not the time to catch up on addicting TV shows).
Counseling And Psychological Services (CAPS)
  • Twenty-four-hour access to a counselor: Overwhelmed and feeling helpless? Feel free to talk to a crisis counselor at (310) 825-0768.

 580 Cafe (580 Hilgard Ave.)

  • Free hot meals: Mondays and Tuesdays from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
  • Free frozen meals and snacks: Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Starbucks (Westwood Village on Broxton and Weyburn)

  • New store hours: Starbucks will be open 24 hours during finals week (Dec. 10 – Dec. 13). This means unlimited access to the Peppermint Mocha. This information could potentially be very dangerous…
Food Trucks for Finals
  • Located behind Powell Library (between Moore and the Physics Astronomy Building)
  • Open 10 p.m. to 1 a.m.
  • Monday, Dec. 10: Calbi Fusion Tacos
  • Tuesday, Dec. 11: Los Lobos (Wings, burgers, Mac n’ cheese, salads, etc).

Are there any other campus resources you recommend during finals week? Tweet us @dbmojo or comment below. Happy studying, and good luck!

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How-to

Six health and wellness tips to help you survive finals

Happy 10th week, everyone! It’s almost finals week, and many students are hard at work and focused on making the grade. It’s also around this time that health and wellness tend to fall lower on the priority list. This post is a reminder that certain food and exercise habits can help improve your concentration while studying. Now, before you hug your bag of potato chips tighter and shout, “FOOD IS MY ONLY SOURCE OF PLEASURE RIGHT NOW” at the computer screen, give us a minute to explain…

We all know that eating food is a great way to procrastinate take a break from studying. Eating well can also help improve mental performance during study sessions. Ah, now you’re listening, eh? Mojo talked to graduate student Daniel Whittaker, who knows quite a bit about healthy eating. He’s currently pursuing a doctorate in molecular, cellular and integrative physiology, and has experience as a personal trainer and wellness consultant.

Here are some tips he shared with us. Some of them may seem counterintuitive to a college student. “Wellness” during finals usually means enduring all-nighters, slurping ramen until you’re sick and guzzling oceans of caffeine and soda. But make sure to read his explanations. You may have heard these tips before, but Whittaker explains why they work. Happy studying!

1. Opt for short duration, high-intensity exercise.

Whittaker: “The body makes proteins when we exercise and they travel from the blood to the brain to help optimize memory function. It is important to have some element of high intensity exercise, such as sprints or some circuit training, to get the most beneficial response. Luckily, these are short duration types of exercise, so there’s more time to study!”

2. Eat small, balanced meals instead of snacking.

Whittaker: “Consuming at least 20 grams of lean protein helps to maintain focus and feelings of wakefulness. Vegetables help to keep our blood at a pH that helps us to maintain clear and optimal thinking for longer. A small amount of carbohydrate is necessary to keep blood sugar levels steady, and so that the brain has a ready supply of its favorite energy source. Additionally, research has shown that omega-3 fats (found in in high amounts in fish, walnuts, hemp seed and flax) can support and improve mental function.”

Following these points about food, here are some ideas for small meals:

  • Sushi
  • Flax crackers with cheese/meat and vegetables
  • Mixed vegetable salad with fish (olive oil and vinegar or lemon as dressing)
  • Tofu with vegetables
  • Lentils or beans and rice

3. If you must snack (you know you will), try these foods:

  • Carrot sticks
  • Celery sticks
  • Green beans
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Slices of red, yellow or orange pepper
  • Broccoli florets
  • Zucchini slices
  • Whole, raw, unsalted almonds or other similar nuts

4. Drink water

Whittaker: “When you study, the brain is working hard and produces waste products. These can be removed easily enough if water is sipped regularly when studying. If this results in regular bathroom breaks, that is a good thing. It keeps the blood clean!”

5. Get enough sleep

Whittaker: “Not sleeping enough increases the body’s production of stress chemicals, which can have a negative impact on mental function. Taking a short (20-minute) nap between long sessions of study can also help to reduce circulating stress chemicals and refresh the brain.”

6. Avoid caffeine and soda

Sounds crazy, right? The first thing you reach for when you’re about to start a paper the night before it’s due is a cup of joe. But read Whittaker’s explanation below (note: he doesn’t totally discount caffeine as a study aid), and you may change your habits.

Whittaker: “Caffeine is a stimulant – it causes excitement in the brain for a short period of time, then, later, when the blood is full of adrenalin and the body is under stress, mental performance suffers. When it comes time for the actual exam, the body is experiencing adrenal failure and tends to be a bit out of sorts. A better way to use caffeine is to have a tiny amount (1-2 ounces) every 3 hours or so. Research shows this promotes a feeling of wakefulness and focus without the stress effects, while large doses (8 or 16 ounces) were shown to have high stress effects with little real mental benefit.”

So, there you have it, folks. Best of luck on finals!

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