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Avoiding the Exam Season Blues

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at McGill chapter.

By: Azara Lalla

Your alarm goes off at 7:30 AM sharp, slicing through that dream you were having about sleeping in. You roll over, slap the clock, and allow the silence to settle in the dim light of your bedroom. You need to get up and get on with your day, whether it’s that 8:30 AM class you skipped way too many times this semester or those few extra chapters of studying you want to get done. It’s that time of the year.

But it’s grey outside, probably cold with that early spring Montreal chill, and your bed is so warm. Can’t you just stay here? At least here you can hide from that looming evil, that soul-sucking nightmare that is the personification of final exam time at McGill.

We all know what it is. The library becomes a sinkhole of anxiety and stress, of frantic cramming and sugar-fueled all-nighters. Zombified students roam the campus, feverishly feeding on fast food and wearing yesterday’s clothes. Some are better at handling this semi-annual degeneration than others. But, as one of my biology professors so concisely put it, “You all look depressed.”

In short, we could all use some extra pep around this time of year. Here are some tips to get you through the exam season blues:

  • SHOWER. Maintaining your hygiene is a given, ladies! You’ll feel like less of a grouch if you don’t smell like one. Even if you’re lazy – it’s the most refreshing thing!
  • SKIP THE SWEATPANTS. I know this is controversial. Sweats are comfy and easy to slip into on these most stressful days of the year. No one wants to put effort into looking cute when the last thing they feel like is cute, and this is the crux of the problem. Take those few extra minutes in the morning to put a little makeup on and actually comb your hair. Leggings are equally as comfortable as sweatpants, and about a hundred times more attractive. The self-esteem boost that comes with looking good will have you feeling good all day long.
  • EAT ASPARAGUS: Ok, well not just asparagus. Dark chocolate, honey, and omega-3 fatty acid rich foods like walnuts and salmon have also been shown to improve your mood. Make sure to include these in your diet for finals and you will be surprised how much more cheerful you feel compared to that time you had poutine instead!
  • EXERCISE: We all know how it feels to sit for hours on end in front of a textbook or computer screen, and sometimes we really just can’t spare that hour it takes to go to the gym. Opt for a brisk fifteen minute walk around campus or your block instead, just to get your blood pumping. Not only will this improve your ability to focus, it’ll stave off that sense of impending doom.
  • INTERACT: Texting is too overrated. Call up your friend instead or arrange to have a lunch break together. Actually talking to someone will pull you out of the social slump that comes from a mentally isolating activity like studying.

So as you’re lying in bed at 7:30 AM, contemplating whether to roll back over and just avoid it all, remember there are other (more productive) ways to beat the exam season blues! You don’t have to join the masses of semi-catatonic, thoroughly miserable students haunting the streets and libraries of Montreal. Have a piece of dark chocolate instead.

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