A Different Way to Prep for Finals

With finals coming up, it can be hard not to burn out from extensive periods of studying. Be sure to do what you can to prepare ahead of time so that you can sustain those long study sessions as you finish off the Fall semester. Here are a few suggestions to switch up your routine and get ready for the big week.

Try Out a New Study Spot 

Finding a good coffee shop in Mankato can be tricky when there is only Starbucks, Caribou Coffee, and Dunkin’ Donuts.  

There is a locally-owned coffee house in downtown Mankato called Fillin’ Station Coffeehouse. The menu has a wide variety of sandwiches, coffee, teas, and smoothies that all can be customized to your liking. They have a sign called the “top ten” of drinks that range from caramel blends to banana flavorings for customers to choose from.  

The coffeehouse brings a warm and inviting ambience, the warm feeling comes from the staff and many seating areas and the inviting feeling is the use of naming items on their menu after local streets and parks in Mankato. This spot is great for studying, catching up with friends, or to relax. 

Campus activities 

There is always something to do on campus to take a break from schoolwork. If you’re interested in art the art exhibit in Nelson hall is currently showcasing senior art projects from students. You can also be able to see other artwork from different art classes walking in the hallway. 

The Bullpen is also a great atmosphere to let loose, bowling is $2 per game and there is a snack bar, pizza, and more if you get hungry from all the fun. Another event that is held in the Bullpen TV lounge is karaoke with over 6,500+ songs on Thursday with Telsa from 7:30 p.m. till 10:30 p.m. 

If you’re hungry there are other options on campus to grab drink or meal. Jazzman located in the CSU is a great place for coffee or smoothies, and many like to hangout in the CSU with friends and do schoolwork together. Chet’s place is located in Carkoski Commons where you can order popular appetizers, sandwiches, and a convenience store. The seating area is a great spot for a late-night snack with friends in the booths. 

Try Out a New Study Strategy

Something that I recently tried out was using the Pomodoro method. This is something that I love to use espeically when studying for long periods of time. I recently discovered using an online timer that does all the work for you using timers to remind you when to take breaks.

Try Out a New Recipe You Can Have on Hand 

Along with switching up your study spot make sure to plan your meals ahead of time so you can easily eat a meal without the stress of making something last minute.

My favorite go-to meal that can last me a couple of days and feed my roommates is the Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana Soup, made with affordable and fresh ingredients. It is great for the cold weather and can freeze any leftovers for a quick future meal. 


Salt & Pepper – to taste 

1 pound of spicy Italian ground sausage 

Chopped bacon  

4 cups chopped kale  

4-5 yellow potatoes – cut into 1-inch pieces 

4 tablespoons of butter  

1 tablespoon minced garlic 

½ white onion – diced  

6 cups of chicken broth 

2 cups of water 

2 cups heavy cream 

Cooking oil – Any is fine 


  1. In a large pot lightly oil and set to medium heat. Add the sausage and make sure to break it up and cook till brown. Add desired salt and black pepper to the sausage while cooking. When done set it aside. 
  2. In the same pot lightly oil and cook the chopped bacon until desired, no more than 6 minutes. Next add in the onion and garlic and cook until the onions become translucent. 
  3. Add the chopped potatoes to the pot and the chicken broth and water, making sure the potatoes are fully submerged and bring the soup to a boil. Once it starts boiling turn the heat to low and let it simmer for 20-45 minutes or until the potatoes are tender. Make sure to stir every 5 minutes.  
  4. Once the potato is tender add the sausage from before and heavy cream to the soup, make sure not to scorch the heavy cream and stir the soup for 4 minutes. 
  5. Lastly add the chopped kale and stir the soup till it is thoroughly mixed. Turn off the heat and once the kale is wilted it is ready to serve.  


Other seasonings like garlic powder, onion powder, and chicken bouillon may be used to season the soup to desired taste. 

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