With finals approaching soon, it can get pretty overwhelming, especially with the holidays coming up. Thus, we’ve made a Finals Survival Guide to help you prepare for your exams.

First we start with locations. You need to find a place where you can completely focus. For me, I need to get away from campus. This way, I avoid bumping into friends, classmates or professors and getting stuck in too-long conversations with them. But wherever you study, the location must meet certain criteria: free Wi-Fi, drinks, snacks and soft background noises.

Cafés are great places to get away and study.

Perfect Cafés for Studying:
BrewWell: For coffee and tea lovers, this place has a variety of drink options. It also has pastries and snacks to keep your tummy full while you study. The ambience is very modern, and the music is low. Don’t worry about trying to find a place to sit and charge your laptop; you can find sockets under the tables.

Caffe Bene: There are two floors in this café; the second floor is where you want to study. It’s quieter and has more seats. Caffe Bene has a good selection of desserts such as macaroons, ice cream and waffles to satisfy your sweet tooth. Also, it stays open until midnight, which is a bonus.

Brick and Scones: This little spot has a patio and two floors if you prefer to study outside or indoors. You can expect to see several people studying or doing their work. In addition to scones and pastries, there are sandwiches if you want something more filling.
Some chain cafés like Starbucks work great if you can avoid the rush hours. Another option is go to a bookstore with a café, such as Barnes & Noble.

Brain Foods:
Food is obviously important, and no one likes to study while hungry. However, studies show specific foods can help boost brain activity. Those brain snacks include…

Blueberries: They are high in antioxidants. It is recommended to have a cup each day, so mix it up with popcorn, or add them to your cereal at breakfast.

Avocado: This green fruit is a healthy fat. Because of the monounsaturated fat in them, avocados keep the blood flow going. Healthy blood flow leads to a healthy brain. One of my favorite dishes is toasted tortilla with chicken and avocado sandwiched between gooey cheeses.

Apples: Don’t think their main purpose is to keep the dentist away. Studies show apple skin has a powerful antioxidant, quercetin, that helps boost memory function.

Nuts: They are not only high in fatty acids, but they have a good amount of iron and can bring more oxygen to the brain. Walnuts are said to resemble a brain and are considered THE brain snack.

Dark chocolate: This is not the chocolate you find in your Halloween bucket. Just remember: the darker the chocolate, the better the benefits. It helps with memory function, increases oxygen flow, and increases awareness and clarity.

The most important thing is to look for nutrition that will maximize brain functions. Look for foods with iron, omega-3 fatty acids, folic acids and foods that are rich in Vitamin E and B6. They all help with memory and brain activity.

Try this easy-to-make study snack: Dark chocolate-covered blueberries:

(Recipe credit: thecookinggeek.com)

What You Need:
-Large Blueberries
-1lb of Dark Chocolate
-Stainless Steel Bowl
-Wax paper

1. Wash and dry blueberries thoroughly
2. Simmer small amount of water in pot. Place stainless steel bowl on top of water.
3. Break chocolate into small pieces and place 90% of it in stainless steel bowl. Save the other 10% for later. Stir chocolate until it melts.
4.Once melted, take melted chocolate off of the heat and add it to reserved solid chocolate and stir.
5. Add all of the chocolate back to the heated water. If chocolate is at 88 degrees, you’re ready to dip berries.
6. With a fork or toothpick, dip the blueberries in the melted chocolate, and place on wax paper. Sit for a few minutes and enjoy!

Social Media Detox:
With location and brain foods in check, we have to keep our social media intake under control! It’s easy to get stuck on a Facebook page for hours or scrolling through Twitter or Instagram. If you’re a social-media addict, try these apps.

SelfControl: This is a free Mac application that restricts your access to websites, mail servers or anything on the website for a set time period. Once you set it, there will be no cheating! You will not be able to gain access even if you reboot your laptop or delete the app.

Cold Turkey: This is a similar app to SelfControl, but it’s for Windows. Cold Turkey will block websites and programs, and you can’t cheat.

Freedom: This app works for both Mac and Windows computers. For $10, it will block the Internet. If you really need to cheat, just reboot, and you can gain access. Anti-Social: If your studying requires researching online, use this app. It works on both Mac and Windows for $15 and blocks only distracting sites. If there are other sites that distract you, add them to the list and set the timer.