How to prepare for finals week

By Jessica Broverman, Editor

Every semester there are a series of steps we take to get closer and closer to seeing light at the end of a very long tunnel. We begin with the first test of the semester, then later come the dreaded midterm exams and now the big one is upon us. Finals to some are just a few exams that are the final hurdle after a long couple of months. To others, these exams are the make or break point – the absolute moment when all of your hard work either shines or falls flat on its face.

I am here to tell you that you can do this. To tell you all the little ways to help push yourself to do better and be better for finals week. Obviously you should study, so I won’t drag you down that road.

I will tell you that you need to sleep a lot more. According to Science Daily, college students are among the most sleep-deprived age group in the U.S. NASA studies show that a “26-minute nap improved the performance and alertness of an individual by 34 percent and 54 percent, respectively.” Do not create another problem like sleep deprivation. Take a load off and get one of those ugly naps in. You know, the kind where you wake up not knowing what day it is and you look like a bird nested in your hair.

Eating something substantial in the morning is necessary as well. I had a friend in high school that never ate breakfast, but would drink a Coke every morning. She is a fantastic example of what not to do when having a well-balanced meal. Cook up a couple of eggs (or, better yet, get one of Donna’s omelets from the Marketplace), eat fresh fruit, or stir up some oatmeal. Anything will be better than nothing and eating food will literally give your brain power.

Also be sure to get a good night’s sleep. Naps are great and will surely help you, but getting a good night’s rest is just as important, if not more so. Try and work out or do some stretches ahead of time before you get ready for bed. People who work out or take part in a physical activity regularly sleep more soundly and fall asleep faster.

You must also remember not to psych yourself out. How many times have you thought about a test so much that you begin to have anxiety about it and you end up doing poorly before you’ve even really tried? Probably more than once. Worrying won’t make you do any better on your finals and stressing definitely won’t make you more rested and prepared for what’s to come.

So take some time for yourself after you hit the books. Studying is certainly important and necessary, but you have an even smaller chance of succeeding if you don’t take care of yourself. Remember that finals week is only one week and you are one strong and smart college student! You can do this!