Hey readers! It’s the last week of the fall semester here at UAT. Chances are you know what that means.
That’s right, finals! Stress, sleepless nights, final projects, big tests and maybe a few tears. I figured now would be a good time to go over a few tips to help wade through finals and any other stressful deadlines that may be thrust upon you!
First, make sure you’re actually working when you need to! Hey, it’s a tech school here, I love the internet too, but sometimes just closing all those extra tabs and putting your phone on the opposite side of the room will help you focus for a few minutes longer! You can always listen to music or podcasts so your eyes don’t wander.
Second, make sure that you are taking care of yourself! Drink water and eat good food! Even pizza 4 times a day is better than nothing at all, and your brain needs that nutrition to get the job done! You can’t take a cross-country road trip if you’re running on empty!
That means get enough sleep too! Two hours of fully fed, fully rested work is FAR more productive than four hours of stomach growling and eyes drooping! Make sure when you ARE awake that you are getting some exercise and some stretching in there! Maybe pick up a yoga routine to help keep you in peak condition!
Exercise releases endorphins which keep you feeling good physically AND emotionally, and stretching gets rid of all that built up lactic acid which causes you to feel sore! In fact, here’s a great video showing some stretches to help prevent carpal tunnel and tendentious (SUPER important for those of us who draw or type all day).
Third, remember that you aren’t alone! Help out your peers and they’ll be the first to help you out in return! The Library of Alexiandria wasn’t built by people who sat in their rooms brooding, it was built through people sharing knowledge with each other.
Trust me, I know. Last Friday I ended up hanging out with friends for 8 hours teaching them Unreal 4 and Maya tricks I had learned over the past couple weeks. Ashley and I figured out how to rig a bow and arrow using Spline IK. I went over animating self-illuminating materials in Unreal 4. There was also this great quadruped walk-cycle tutorial I found to share with other character animators!
I also went ahead and playtested a level for Dia de los Dinosaurios, one of our Greenlight Projects from this semester’s Game Studio classes which I had the pleasure of being part of. My personal contributions include the dinosaur player character model & animations (which will hopefully be featured in an upcoming video for the project) and several background models.
Fourth, remember that if you’re in school, you’re here to learn! Of course grades are still important, but what’s even more important is learning and retaining that information.
It doesn’t matter if you get a good grade or a bad grade, there will always be something to improve upon and always more information to learn. If your grade isn’t as high as you had hoped, use it as feedback so you can do better next time! Nobody gets 5 stars on Through the Fire and Flames on the first go around. Improvement takes time and dedication, just make sure you’re dedicating that time to what you want to get better at!
LASTLY, make sure that you take time to celebrate! For us here at UAT, it’s been 15 weeks of classes and homework and stress, but we’ve learned a lot and had a lot of great experiences! Even failures lead to future successes, so celebrate both your past and your future!
Plus, the holidays are right around the corner which hopefully means food, friends, and family.
So remember, take care of yourself and use these opportunities to learn and connect while they are available. Every project, every class, and every test comes to an end but it’s what you learned and experienced that will open up all those new beginnings! So until next time…