Thriving through finals week

Taking care of our physical and emotional health remains the most helpful way to prepare for our final exams.


| Karin Jensen/THE CHIMES

Catherine Streng, Writer

As college students, we tend to put our health on the back burner. As a whole, we deem grades the most important aspect our life right now, besides possibly family. With finals coming up, I wish to remind you to not let your grades get in the way of your health, mentally or physically. After all, we will not be university students forever. Whereas our health, mind and body stays with us until death.

Many things can get in the way of us taking care of our bodies. Sleep remains one of the biggest things college student neglect. An all-nighter here, three hours there and maybe a 30 minute nap in between seems the best option for us when we have that exam or paper coming up. Unfortunately, “sleep makeup” does not exist. When we do not get the required amount of sleep necessary, sleep debt occurs. If sleep debt begins to build up, it can have detrimental effects on your health, such as obesity, negative moods and even decreased productivity. Take care when planning your study schedule. A good night’s sleep might even affect your exam grade in a more positive way than pulling an all-nighter will.

Let us not forget about our eating habits. I am incredibly guilty when it comes to the midnight In-N-Out cravings and only eating a quesadilla and fries with a sundae in the Caf. Food affects our body the most when it comes to overall health and functioning. Changing a diet to include more fresh foods or even just less fried foods will help both your body and mind feel less sluggish. Lack of nutrients can cause anxiety and depression, affecting our way of life and, you guessed it, our grades.

Raise your hand if you are guilty of sitting all day to study. Okay, do not actually do it but think back to the last time you ran or punched somebody in the face. The last time you were physically active, sweating and breathing hard. I would bet money that most of you have not done that in a while but instead forego exercising to get some more studying time. Fitting in a simple workout at least twice a week will make you feel better and clear your mind. Exercising lowers the stress clogging your mind and hurting your body. It makes you happy.

Relationships will always remain a significant aspect of our lives. People surround us daily. We will interact with classmates, co-workers, friends and family for the rest of our lives. As an introvert, I know how exhausting socializing leaves me. But I also know how our mind needs social interaction. We cannot replace having the support of family and friends to get you through the stress of finals week. Relationships reduce stress. The emotional and mental support gives your mind the love it needs to push through, without being affected too negatively. So say yes to that coffee date, you have the time.

We want to graduate, obviously, so we do need to keep our grades up. We should study and we should worry sometimes, but we should not let it consume us. Do not let your stress for grades affect your health. In a battle between health and grades, health should win. Please keep your health in mind as we enter finals week. Get enough sleep, eat a little better, run and get coffee with the friend. You will feel better.

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