Finals survival 101

final.exam_Finals week seems to arrive earlier and earlier each year. This semester, finals begin on Dec. 7. How do you survive the week of all-nighters, caffeine runs, and brain-mushifying tests? (I wish I knew how to solve the last one, but…) By listening to my advice you’ll manage to make it through Finals Week.

First off, you need to sleep. I know the instant response to finals week is to study until 3 am and wake up at 7 in time for your 8 am Final. But that isn’t going to help. A person needs at least six hours of sleep a night during finals in order to remember what they studied. Of course, more than six hours is always better; doctors recommend at least 8 hours a night. The National Institutes of Health found that students who pull all-nighters have a lower GPA than students who sleep the recommended amount of hours.

You also need to eat properly during Finals Week. Forget about just eating Ramen noodles and hot pockets and pop tarts. Do you know what you need to eat for your brain to work? Protein! So buy protein bars, add eggs to your ramen noodles, and eat cheese. Maybe no protein powder because that stuff is hard to mix and tastes nasty. (Chocolate isn’t supposed to taste that way.)

Don’t do what St. Ambrose students do and have Last Blast the Saturday before finals start. Save the alcohol for after you’ve finished the last final of the week. You don’t want to show up at a final hung-over. And don’t try to be one of those sneaky students who brings vodka in a water bottle to your final. It doesn’t help you take the final. If you’re celebrating doing well on the finals, wait until you’re done.

Don’t forget to take breaks in between your studying sessions. You don’t want to mushify your brain before you even take the final. Watch an episode of your favorite show before going back to studying (or two if an episode is less than 44 minutes long). Eat while you watch TV. Read a book that doesn’t have the name McGraw-Hill or Pearson on it somewhere.

For the third semester, dogs from the QC Canine Assistance Network will be in the library for students to pet to relieve stress. The dogs will be available on two days: Nov 30 from 11 am to 1 pm and Dec 1 from 11:30 AM to 1:30 pm. This event is sponsored by the Counseling Department at BHC. In the library, there will be “Stress Free Stations” with adult colouring books. Don’t forget to study for your finals.

Eat some protein, don’t mushify your brain from over studying, save celebrating for when you know you actually can celebrate. Good luck!

Submitted by Anna Headley