Augustana Observer

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Augustana Observer

How to survive the end of winter term

Winter term is winding down, and that means week ten stress and finals week freak-outs are nearly upon us. As a senior, I’ve been around that block more than my fair share of times already. So here are my top tips for surviving the end of winter term with sanity intact.
1. Let yourself rest.
This one seems like it’s counterintuitive to the sense of urgency we all feel at this time of term, but it’s probably the most important thing I will put on this list. Much like a car can’t run unless you put gas in it first, your brain is not going to work right if it doesn’t get the rest it needs. If you’re fighting to keep your eyes open, set an alarm for 20 minutes and take a nap. Set one for 25 and 30 minutes too, just in case. All-nighters might be necessary for some folks, but they are not anyone’s friend. Getting enough sleep is vital.
2. Do your best to eat right.
Another obvious suggestion, but it’s one every college kid could stand to keep in mind. Running with the car metaphor, the kind of fuel you use will determine how well your engine functions. If you hit the C-Store or the Brew for some snacks, grab some of the freshly prepared snacks, like fruits and veggies. HyVee also has a lot of already-prepped fruit and veggies too, if you’re looking for more variety or the campus shops are closed. Eating pure junk at this time can be tempting, but your brain will work better if it has real nutrients giving it a boost. Consider switching out for some tea or plain water instead of another cup of coffee or energy drink, too, so you don’t over-caffeinate yourself into oblivion. And on that note…
3. Hydrate.
Drinking plenty of water is vital to keeping your end-of-term edge, especially during studying. It cleans out your system and is a necessary balance to dehydrating caffeinated drinks that many of us rely on for energy. Staying well-hydrated will also make you have to pee more, which makes you get up and stretch your legs to go to the bathroom more often. Those little breaks and small bursts of physical activity can help you keep your perspective on what it is you’re studying, instead of it all becoming one huge blur.
4. Ask for help.
A lot of people think now is too late to ask for help from your professors or classmates, but it really isn’t. If you’re struggling, now is the time to take advantage of office hours or a study-buddy. It’s literally what your professors are there for. Studies have shown that teaching information helps you learn it better yourself, so having a friend help you out is also a way for them to help themself. It might be hard or embarrassing to reach out, but doing poorly in the class and knowing you could have done more to help yourself is worse.
5. Treat yourself.
Treating yourself ala Tom and Donna from Parks and Recreation definitely has a time and place, and the end of the term is it. Once you’ve reached your absolute capacity for studying, there’s nothing wrong with watching the newest episode of your favorite show, going out with friends or eating an entire box of Pizza Rolls by yourself. Studying and pre-test times are great for healthy snacks and good habits, but rewarding yourself for that can be part of the deal.
So hang in there this end of term, Augie. We’re all in this together, and here’s to surviving winter term!

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How to survive the end of winter term