COLUMN: Suggestions to survive finals week
It’s Finals Week.
Freshmen: The idea of leaving your shoebox-sized dorm seems unfathomable with your first round of college finals quickly approaching. But, you can and must relax.
Upperclassmen: You are the nobility of all-nighters, the historians of blue books and the champions of this post-Thanksgiving, take-no-prisoner testing marathon. But, you can and must focus.
Here is a survival guide for both finals week rookies and veterans. Its contents will help soften the glare of your laptop screen and clear the tunnel of faded flashcards that is rapidly closing in on you.
This package contains a playlist, a menu of sustainable meals, a selection of study areas to hit the books and an itinerary of events to escape them. Here’s to a decent GPA and a well-deserved winter break.
- “Brainy” — The National
Although “Boxer” (2007) is ideal for a deep study session, this track sets a steady pace for starting off. Plus, the deep warmth of lead singer, Matt Berninger’s voice is basically what hot tea or coffee would sound like if it could sing.
- “2 Atoms in a Molecule” — Noah & the Whale
This track from the London band’s first album makes science adorable with a whimsical beat lasting a fleeting two minutes. If you like “Juno”-esque tunes, “2 Atoms in a Molecule” will do the trick.
- “A Simple Answer” — Grizzly Bear
As one of the best albums of 2012, Grizzly Bear’s “Shields” includes this gem midway through the record. If you’re working tirelessly through limits, functions, derivatives and integrals, let Grizzly Bear serenade you with “A Simple Answer.”
- “Know Your Onion!” — The Shins
This track was chosen mostly for its title, but maybe you classics majors will appreciate a Shins’ song from 2001.
- “Cult Logic” — Miike Snow
If you’ve made it this far through the playlist, then you’ve earned an upbeat number. Cue brief dorm room dance break.
- “Know Better Learn Faster” — Thao
The instrumentation is motivational while the repetition of “Know Better Learn Faster” in the chorus is just outright demanding.
- “Fiction” — The xx
After three years, The xx finally gave us something to sustain us musically early in the semester. “Fiction” and the other 10 tracks should hold you through the duration of the semester.
- “Vision of Division” — The Strokes
The Strokes barge in this playlist with their alternative flare and guitar gusto just as abruptly as the person breaching the 24-hour quiet policy on your floor. It’s ok to get a little bit loud.
- “Two Way Monologue” — Sondre Lerche
The Norwegian singer-songwriter provides a nice blend of acoustic and electric guitar. Lerche is also the voice to the “Dan in Real Life” (2007) soundtrack, which is more instrumental and thus academically appropriate.
- “The Calculation” — Regina Spektor
Spektor is the perfect dose of caffeine and her lyrics always tell a lovely story.
- “Unto Caesar” — Dirty Projectors
Truthfully, Dirty Projectors are sometimes hard to digest. But, this track from their eighth album, “Swing Lo Magellan” released in July of this year is too cool not to include.
- “Bookends” — Simon & Garfunkel
Yes, this song is from that depressing part in “(500) Days of Summer.” However, no other song could better close a solid hour of studying (If you made it through the whole playlist and its further suggestions.)
- Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art Museum of Art
Although admission always is free for OU students, the art museum expanded that privilege to all visitors for all occasions, according to a Daily article published on Nov. 27. Both “Selected Works” and “Indigenous Aesthetics” exhibitions from the James T. Bialac Native American Art Collection close Dec. 30.
- Marc Heitz Chevrolet ice rink, Interstate 35 and Lindsey Street
Norman’s first outdoor ice skating rink opened Nov. 23 at Marc Heitz Chevrolet and will remain open from noon to 9 p.m. weekdays, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturdays and 1 to 7 p.m. Sundays. Admission is $10 with a rental of skates and $7 without. The money will benefit the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma.
- Downtown Norman
“Small Business Saturday” already passed, but if you have holiday shopping to do or just want to walk along the storefronts, Main Street is a great place to see historic Norman while also benefitting local businesses, restaurants and cooperatives.
- Warren Theater, 1000 Telephone Road
This movie theater’s interior is even more magical than its exterior and it has ticket prices comparable to Norman venues. If Netflix isn’t meeting your standards, spend a little gas money and escape reality for two hours.
- Second Chance Animal Sanctuary, 4500 24th Avenue Northwest
For your first time volunteering, you can play with the cats indoors or walk the dogs in the surrounding acreage. You can download the application at www.secondchancenorman.com and call the shelter at 405-321-1915.
- The Gray Owl 223 E. Gray St.
If you want a study spot off campus, Gray Owl provides a spacious venue and low-key lighting with the perfect background buzz of independent music, quiet conversation and shots of espresso hitting the bottom of ceramic cups.
- Lissa and Cy Wagner Hall
Studying in groups works well in the individual rooms in Wagner. Most rooms have white boards and comfortable chairs to collaborate with classmates. The rooms are usually first come, first serve, but renting is also available.
- Lions Park, 450 S. Flood Ave.
In case of unusually warm weather, outdoor study sessions are still a possibility. Lions Park has several covered and uncovered tables. Also, the playground equipment could serve as a stress reliever.
Breakfast (until 11 a.m.)
The Earth Deli & Café, 750 Asp Ave.
• Multigrain pancakes (half order) $2.99
• Side of eggs $.99
• Blueberry-Mango smoothie (with apple juice and soy milk) $5.25
Crooked Crust, 757 Asp Ave.
• Half a pizza with unlimited toppings and two drinks $10
Local, 2262 W. Main St.
• Green Chili Corn Chowder $4
• Fish Tacos (Lighter Portion) $8
• Note: If you don’t have time to sit down for dinner, you can grab most of the daily menu items from the Local Market inside the restaurant and get back to studying.
• Trail mix of Craisins, granola, almonds and chocolate chips
• Freshmen: This is a perfect time to use excess meal plan points at Xcetera in the bottom of Walker Center.
Molly Evans is a journalism sophomore.