That week of the semester is here: FINALS. This time of your “academic experience” is always dreadful, nobody seems to enjoy finals – unless you are Jimmy Neutron or other geniuses on television. Nonetheless, we’re all essentially students here (or if you are just reading along by) you can’t avoid these terrifying exams. As the saying goes, “a healthy mind, keeps a healthy body”. It’s vital that we take care of our mental health during this time of the academic year. Essentially, everyone wants to do well on their finals, but there is a better way to prepare than pounding energy drinks at 2 A.M. in the library. Take it from a student who is approaching in her final semester at UBALT – you can manage your stress level and still come out on top.
First of all, SLEEP. You hear it all the time. It seems like there is not enough time in the day to sleep for 6-8 hours, while studying for final exams. But making time to sleep can improve your academic performance. Don’t stay up late cramming, instead, start studying earlier so you can get your beauty rest! Time management is key here, as we’re all accustomed to it.
Second off, exercise and stay hydrated. Not only does this help you burn calories and help you get that “summer bod”, but (for some) it can be a form of therapy to take your mind off the workload. Working out releases endorphins (a chemical your body produces) which can make you feel positive and happy. This doesn’t mean you should go to the gym and pump some iron, you can also go for a jog outside, attend a yoga class, ride a bike, or play pick-up basketball. Either way, any physical activity (or at least breaking a sweat) can definitely provide a temporary escape from your responsibilities.
Even if you decide to go to the gym, keep in mind that hydration is also important. This can help boost your performance (mentally and physically) and regulate body temperature (for those having anxiety and sweat perspiration). There are lots of benefits to drinking water – that’s why your Mom and your doctor reiterates this so much.
Pro Tip: make sure to have a water bottle with you when you study!
Last, take breaks while you’re studying. Most students study for hours on hand, not leaving any space for their brain to rest. During these breaks, maybe grab a healthy snack and take a walk outside. You can even try listening to some calm meditation-style music. You don’t want to overwork your brain before a big test or presentation. Chances are, you’re not retaining as much information as you think when you pull an all-nighter or 24-hour study session in the library.
And finally, (for the love of God) do NOT procrastinate. I know it’s cliche, but sometimes simple reminders like this helps an ordinary girl like me. That text message and that notification on social media can wait. Stay focused and study on! Learn to balance your mentality, so you won’t feel burnt out and unmotivated to do anything. It’s okay to take breaks, but don’t prolong them.
Charles Dickens once said, “procrastination is the thief of time.” The majority of college students have procrastinated at some point and time (guilty). You will not accomplish what you wanted and you will feel guilty when the results come back.
Artjona Lireza is a staff writer for The Sting. She is a Digital Communications student at the University of Baltimore.