The Most Stressful Time of The Year

By BLAIR WEISINGER and JAKOB JENSEN

Even after months of dedication and hard work, your success or failure in a class can hinge on a single, heavily weighted assignment — the final. To further complicate matters, many schools compress all course finals into a single week. This may understandably seem like a recipe for stress and dread, but there are a number of ways to improve your performance during finals week. Here are three to try this winter:

  1. Get some sleep- During finals week, many libraries stay open 24 hours a day, and numerous students commiserate over the intensity of their last-minute cram sessions. Pulling an all-nighter, however, is one of the worst things that you can do (short of accidentally sleeping through your final). Fatigued brains do not retain information, nor do they recall it well.
  2. Stay active- exercise boosts blood flow to the brain, and sitting in one place for an extended period of time can lead to a tired, ill-supplied mind. You may not be able to squeeze in a full workout during finals week, but you do have time to go for a short walk or to do two sets of crunches or push-ups. Try searching online for “exercises for office workers.” This search may lead you to activities that you can do to keep your blood flowing during this critical portion of the semester.
  3. Eat well- eating healthy food is always a great idea. During finals week, you may be tempted to eat and drink whatever items are most convenient. However, the quick calories of processed carbohydrates will ultimately leave you exhausted. Instead, eat foods that are digested slowly: whole grains, fresh vegetables, and lean proteins. A little planning can go a long way as you head into finals week. A loaf of whole grain bread and turkey slices can make a stack of sandwiches. Bags of baby carrots or microwaveable frozen peas can provide a quick, healthy snack, as can a handful of walnuts

A strong finals week performance may seem impossible, but it is anything but. Set your worries and nerves aside, and remember to stay on task, work hard, eat well, and make time to rest. Soon, finals week will be over, and you can begin the next semester confident that your grades will reflect the work you did all semester long.