The VanCougar Recipe for Success

Indoor Terrace, second floor of the Science and Engineering building. Photo courtesy of Zeke Estes.

‘Tis the season for friends, family, food… and finals week.

While it seems as though the semester has just started, it’s really just about to end. And that means one thing; final exams, presentations, papers and projects.

The VanCougar is here to help you find the best places to study, easy breakfast and snack ideas and advice from veteran students and professors campus wide. We have collected lists of study tips and ways to prepare for finals, so you can relax and ace your tests.


1. Communications Prof., Elizabeth Candello: “Organization is first and foremost key to successful finals prep. What I mean by organization is allotting an hour per subject to study, take a break, then take another hour to another subject, take a break, focus on another subject, take a break.”

2. History T.A, Karl Crandall: “Visit the writing center! Proofread, proofread, proofread. Figure out when you write the best.”

3. The WSU Center for Advising and Career Development suggests studying difficult subjects first when preparing for finals.

4. The WSU Center for Advising and Career Development also suggests taking advantage of breaks in your schedule (between classes, for example).


First, utilize all of your resources! Here’s six apps to help you study:


Group projects can be a really great thing, or the worst part of your semester. This app allows your group to plan and communicate effortlessly.
Guided meditation to give your brain a real break from studying. It can be hard to really take a relaxing break, so this app has designed “bite-sized meditations for busy schedules.”
Cold Turkey
Free distraction blocker for your computer. Need 15 minutes of complete concentration? 24 hours of Facebook and Pinterest free studying? This customizable app lets you block tempting distractions for as long as you need to finish your work.
Do you ever wish your planner could notify you when you should be working on a paper or studying for a quiz? This app is a digital planner that does just that.
Simplemind Visually organize a large project with some help from this app. Sometimes the easiest way to get started on something that seems overwhelming is to get back to the basics with a mind map and this app simply guides you through it.
Browse flashcards made other students or create your own. Take practice multiple choice quizzes or play a mind stimulating game.













Then, find the perfect study location

We at The VanCougar have created a list of top four study spots on (and off) campus to generate the most focused and productive seshes this week:

Indoor Terrace, second floor of the Science and Engineering building

ASWSUV Senator, Davina Cepeda, explains: “The giant windows allow a lot of light in which personally keep me awake and energized, and the environment is bright and colorful which helps on those rainy days.”


Library cubicles

Junior Lauren Couch, a psychology major, says her favorite place to study is in the boxed desks near the windows in the library.

Coffee shops

Working at home can be distracting, says Zach McMahon, a senior majoring in strategic communication. He enjoys studying at coffee shops where he can stay focused and use stronger wifi.

Multimedia Classroom Building (VMMC), second floor

Kylle DeRoock, a junior biology major says she studies there because “sometimes they play music in the art room, but it’s relaxing and usually pretty quiet.”

Pro Tip

Study in comfort, but don’t get too comfortable. Avoid your bed when doing homework. The American College of Healthcare Sciences writes, “Working in your bed makes going to sleep harder. Because you’ve trained your body to associate your bed as a place to study or get homework done, once you lay in bed to call it a night your mind will continue to think.”

Finally, start your day with a hearty breakfast

Most likely you’ve heard the saying, “breakfast is the most important meal of the day,” and while the phrase may seem historic, its relevance is timeless.  Particularly during finals weeks, eating well seems to be less of a priority. However, it’s during these high intensity weeks that our bodies need the most nourishment and fuel to keep us going. Here are four quick and easy breakfast ideas from the Huffington Post to get your morning started right.

Veggie Scramble: 7 Minutes
2 eggs
½ green, red or yellow bell pepper
2 tablespoons onion
½ cup spinach
Chop veggies.
Whisk eggs in a bowl. Add chopped veggies, then combine into a pan with heated olive oil. Scramble until cooked. Top with salsa for an added morning kick-start!
Peanut butter & Apple Slice Toast: 4 Minutes
Toast (English muffin or bagel)
Peanut butter (or nut butter of choice)
1 small apple, sliced
Toast muffin or bagel, then top with peanut butter and apple slices. Sprinkle with cinnamon if desired.
Oatmeal: 3 Minutes
Individually packaged oatmeal in preferred flavor
½ cup water, milk or alternative milk
Fresh berries for topping (optional)
Combine oats and water or milk in microwave safe dish and microwave for one to two minutes (or until desired consistency). Top with fresh berries.
Breakfast smoothie: 5 Minutes
¼ cup brewed
espresso (or strong coffee), chilled
½ cup vanilla soy milk
1 large, frozen banana
2-4 ice cubes
Blend all ingredients and enjoy!
(Recipe from

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.