Until the New Year…

On behalf of the English Department and the Clark Writes Board of Editors, I’d like to thank you all for helping us to begin the launch our new publication. I’ve been personally inspired by the quality of submissions, positive feedback, and your loyal readership, all of which have been essential to the blog’s continued growth. As the energy of finals week begins and the semester comes to a close, Clark Writes will enter a temporary state of hibernation. I look forward to its reawakening in January, when we’ll continue to demonstrate that writing matters to Clark, and that it thrives in both the traditional and unexpected niches of the community. We’ve planned a line-up of exciting events and opportunities for the spring semester, but until then, we wish you all the best as you enter the holiday season.

-Mitchell Perry

Feeling stuck in the finals stretch? Read on for tips from Clark Writes editor, Laura Barker.

Ah, December at Clark. Snow covering the Green, hot drinks from the Bistro, the unhealthy levels of stress and exhaustion…

The end of the semester can be a great time to spend quality time with friends before going home, but there’s a nasty two-week stretch of studying and finals that can rile up the calmest of students. But never fear! I’ve gathered tips to help you survive one of the most grueling weeks of the year:

1: Pick the right tunes. Music can be your best friend or worst enemy while studying. Loud, distracting, or fast-tempoed music can break your concentration. For good studying tunes, try instrumental pieces like Yiruma.

2: Ditch the dorm. Studying in bed may seem like a great idea, but it’s a lot easier to get distracted in pajamas. Head over to Goddard to get in a focused mindset (and it’s rumored that Acts of Kindness will be giving out free hot chocolate to studiers!). But before you hunker down…

3: Figure out which floor of Goddard works for you. Here’s the breakdown if you missed it during Week One: the first floor (or the AC) is the most social and ideal for study groups, floors two-four get quieter the higher it gets, and the fifth floor is so quiet that you will be glared at for sneezing. If you like to study solo, try the fourth or fifth floor. If you need sound to focus, choose the AC.

4: Treat yourself! Pep yourself up with a tasty winter treat. Jazzman’s offers Peppermint Mochas, Gingerbread Lattes, and Mint-Kissed Whoopee Pies. Or if you want something a bit savory, RHA is delivering grilled cheeses for $1 through December 10th.

5: Be wary of study parties. It always seems like a great idea to study with a group of friends: the theory being the more people there are, the more people will help you focus. It always starts out about five minutes of hard-core studying before someone wants to have a planking contest or do a Bistro run.

6: Know your support system. There is an army of people to help you survive finals. ITS can help with computer problems, the Writing Center can help polish essays, and TAs can answer the questions you’re too afraid to ask your professor.

7: Block Buzzfeed and Tumblr. “I’ll just spend a few seconds on Buzzfeed”, the battle cry of the procrastinators. Seconds turn to minutes, minutes turn to hours, and suddenly it’s 2 in the morning and all you’ve done is read (about) 28 Ferrets who are fans of Chris Pratt’s abs. Use a free app like SelfControl (for MAC) or Freedom (for PC) that blocks the distracting websites of your preference for as long as it takes you to write that English paper.

8: Check out on-campus relaxing events. Take a break and recharge your brain at one of the dozens of events happening around campus. Although these two weeks are some of the toughest of the entire year, they are chock-full of some of the best events of the year. Last year, there was an oxygen bar and therapy puppies (one of which had the same name as yours truly). This year, various dorms and departments are offering yoga, smoothies, end-of-the year performances, hot chocolate breaks, card making and movie screenings.

9: Make a daily schedule. I make fun of my mother for her down-to-the-minute daily schedules, but it gets stuff done. Schedule in office hours, gym time, breaks, and group studies

10: Walk around Worcester. Nothing clears the mind like taking a walk. It’s a sort of meditation, and it physically lets you get away from your work. And what better place to wander than our own city? City Hall is a great destination, with it decked out for the holidays. Or if you’re behind on your gift shopping, Worcester offers the best variety of gifts: vintage records from Jelly’s Discs, one-of-a-kind jewelry from Haberdash Vintage, or rich coffee from Acoustic Java.

And there you have it!

Best of luck with your finals,


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