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Surviving FInals: The Healthy Way

If you can’t tell, we may or may not love inspirational quotes. (Source: GUWIL Instagram) 


Oh, it’s the most wonderful time of the year. Finals have arrived and you’ve been running on about four and a half cups of coffee from Midnight Mug and very few hours of sleep. But let me be the second person to tell you, the first being your mother, that sleep deprivation and coffee overload is not the way to go. According to the “rule of thumb” estimate established by the National Sleep Foundation adults need between seven to nine hours of sleep per night. Study after study has found that although it may seem staying up all hours of the night on Lau 2 is necessary to do well on your exam this is not the case. Lack of sleep impairs our brain’s ability to consolidate the information we have learned all day into our long-term memory. Thereby, canceling out all of those extras hours you stayed up studying thinking it was what was best to do well. A few of the very many positive effects of getting enough sleep include improved memory, reduced stress and increased alertness. As I am sure I don’t need to be the one to tell you all three of these characteristics are ideal to have during finals week when trying to do your best. Just in case it is impractical for you to get seven to nine hours of sleep a night I want to stress the importance of naps. Even a thirty-minute nap helps clear the mind to then continue to learn the ever so challenging effect a price ceiling or price floor has on the supply and demand curve. To conclude I want to offer five of the most important things aside from sleep you need to know about doing your best this week.

1. Make a reasonable schedule of study times with appropriate breaks built in. By breaks I don’t mean talking to your best friend for an hour and 15 minutes. I mean a fifteen-minute refresher so you can absorb what you have most recently learned.

2. Eat well. Put down the chips and cookies and pick up the fruits and veggies. Blueberries, eggs, spinach, broccoli, beans, fish, whole grains and dark chocolate all contribute to memory improvement and alertness. Yes I said dark chocolate. And please whatever you do, do not skip a meal, especially breakfast.

3. Exercise. Exercising increases oxygen flow to the brain. When you exercise your body you are also exercising your brain. At the same time, I find exercising also helps tremendously with stress.

4. Vent about your stress to your parents not your friends. Although your friends are usually most willing to be there for you when you are stressed they are stressed too. Finals isn’t a competition of who has the most work and parents will be more understanding to offer positive advice on how to conquer finals.

5. Laugh. Yea it might not be the most enjoyable week but laughter is the best medicine. It relaxes us, triggers the release of endorphins and improves our mood. You can’t go wrong with Forgetting Sarah Marshall or Happy Gilmore.

With that being said good luck with exams! Work hard and don’t stress too much. You’ll be home soon. Hoya Saxa.

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