My Life in College: The perils of finals week

Moral Mildred/Sun Star Columnist
May 7, 2013

Because I’m full of original thoughts, I decided this week’s article was going to be How to Survive Finals. It is my eighth and final semester here at UAF and I have been through my fair share of finals inspired nausea, headaches and bad coffee. So without further ado, here are some of the tips and tricks that have gotten me through this particular brand of academic hell:

1. Coffee. I know that this isn’t really that healthy for you, drinking coffee in crazy amounts, but in all honesty, I think it works. As someone who probably has a mild caffeine addiction, I need coffee in order to function on a daily  basis. When I am stressed and not sleeping well because all I can think about are tests, coffee gets me through my day. Maybe it is just psychological, but it works.

2. Eat what I want. In all honesty, for this one week of my life, I allow myself to eat what I want, when I want. If I want macaroni and cheese from a box and then three cupcakes, cool. Usually, I try to stay on top of my junk-food addiction, as much as being forced to eat at the Wood Center everyday allows. However, feeling guilty over what I’m eating is one more level of stress that I don’t need during finals. So for just one week, I don’t think about it and let what goes in my mouth, go.

3. Try to remember other people are stressed too. It is really easy for me to turn into an asshole during finals week: I don’t sleep well, I’m stressed, I’m crashing from  a caffeine high and the vending machines are all out of Twix bars. All of this combined with my super low tolerance for stupidly tends to equal a general hatred for the masses.  I have to remind myself, “Self, these people are trying really hard at life too. Don’t throw anything at them.”

4. Stay away from alcohol, completely. Drinking is for celebrating after all my tests are done, not for preparing to take them. My friends and I have a silent agreement: no alcohol the weekend before or the week of finals. We need to stay focused, not sloppy.

5. Study reasonably. It is really easy for me to freak out and push myself to study to a point that is a little bit ridiculous. There is no need to pull all-nighters, unless some sort of study-related catastrophe occurs, like your computer dies and takes with it your research paper. In all honesty, if you feel like you need to pull an all-nighter, you didn’t manage your time very well, and you deserve no sympathy. It isn’t like finals week jumped up and surprised you; it has been there forever, waiting. Also, frantically riffling though your notes ten seconds before the exam is pointless and does nothing except mentally freak you out. If you don’t know the material by then, you never will, so don’t have a panic attack. Take a deep breath, say a little prayer and go.

I hope you all manage to have a decently okay finals week, and make it to the weekend without too much psychological damage. I already have plans to hit up Karaoke and dancing this weekend, and I’m holding on to that like a mental lifeline. Good luck, ladies and gentleman. Go forth and prosper.

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