Frightened for Finals? Don’t forget these basic tips

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As the weather gets dark and cold, and final exams approach, you may be feeling the stress and pressure building up with all of the work and the studying that, for some unknown reason, just still hasn’t been done. Chances are, the people around you are feeling it, too. According to a recent survey of Canadian university students, 90 per cent of students have felt overwhelmed by their work in the past year, 63 per cent have felt lonely, and 50 per cent have felt hopeless. The reality is, these feelings are inevitable. Towards the end of a long semester, people start to burn out. However, there are many things that you can do to help reduce these emotions. Here are seven tips for surviving finals:      


 


<strong>Sleep</strong>


There is a classic saying that states that between sleep, social life, and grades, you can only pick two. In preparation for finals, consider making sleep one of your picks. According to Prof. Amanda Nosko, who teaches educational psychology at St. Jerome&rsquo;s University, a good night&rsquo;s sleep improves information retention and retrieval. As hilarious as the idea of actually getting the recommended seven to nine hours of sleep a night seems, it might be a catalyst to more efficient learning.


<strong>Exercise&nbsp;</strong>


While it may seem counter-intuitive, regular exercise can actually increase energy levels instead of dropping them. Doing little things to add physical activity to your day, like walking somewhere instead of bussing there, will help keep you refreshed and alert.


<strong>Nutrition</strong>


According to former UW Health Services dietician Sandy Chuchmach, eating breakfast, eating at regular intervals, having snacks that have an equal balance of carbohydrates and proteins, and staying hydrated will make you feel healthier, and more prepared for this difficult season. Dropping the chips and grabbing some fruits, vegetables, nuts, and whole grains is a worthy investment that will boost your energy levels, and hopefully your grades.


<strong>Time Management</strong>


Realistically, it might be too late to employ this strategy, but keep it in mind for later. Managing your time well by making goals, to-do lists, or schedules for studying can be a great way to keep on track. &ldquo;There&rsquo;s a reason why the course syllabus exists,&rdquo; said Nosko. &ldquo;Read it, understand it, know what you&rsquo;re up against, and plan your time accordingly. Even little things, like taking 10 minutes after class to review concepts, is a fantastic way to get in some studying.&rdquo;&nbsp;


<strong>Resources</strong>


Don&rsquo;t forget about the wealth of resources that exist to help students. Especially for first year students, who may have a particularly difficult time transitioning into university, residences have various tutoring sessions open to all students in the course. Also, living-learning communities and student associations for certain faculties are hosting de-stressing events for all students in their faculty.&nbsp; For all students in general, good mental and physical health in this season is crucial, and Health Services and Counselling Services are available for support if need be.&nbsp;


<strong>Embrace it</strong>


Let&rsquo;s be real, the stress isn&rsquo;t going to go away, but there are ways to harness stress and turn it into something positive. &ldquo;There is an optimal level of stress that changes depending on the complexity of the task,&rdquo; said Nosko. &ldquo;For simpler tasks, stress can be motivational and improve the speed and quality of completion. For more difficult tasks, a lower amount of stress is optimal, to reduce anxiety and frustration.&rdquo; Managing your stress in a way that puts you into a productive mindset will help you complete tasks. It&rsquo;s a small investment that reduces stress overall.


<strong>Uninstall League of Legends</strong>


Just for a little while. It&rsquo;s for the best.


Remember, there are only a few more weeks&hellip; you&rsquo;ve almost made it! After that, you&rsquo;ll be able to have a nice, relaxing holiday, and you can look forward to doing it all over again.
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