Brace yourselves, finals are coming

Emily Gibbens, Staff Writer

With Halloween, Thanksgiving and Black Friday behind us, there is one thing coming up that everyone is looking forward to, and that is Christmas. But students shouldn’t get ahead of themselves dreaming about Christmas break quite yet. First, they must take on finals week.

Even with the joys of Christmas and the relief of being homework free just around the corner, the last couple weeks of the semester always tend to be the most stressful as big deadlines approach, important final tests grow closer and grades are becoming harder and harder to raise.

Without stress management, all too often your body is always on high alert. Over time, high levels of stress lead to serious health problems.

— Mayo Clinic website

Although it is important to study hard and focus your energy on school, it is also essential to manage all of the stress and make sure not to overdo it.

Some stress is okay, and is even good, but when not managed properly, it can take its toll on anyone. When scared, nervous, or stressed our body is programmed to release hormones that help you react due to the potential threat.

According to the Mayo Clinic website, “Without stress management, all too often your body is always on high alert. Over time, high levels of stress lead to serious health problems.”

There are some steps you can follow to make sure you are on top of your game in the weeks to come.

The most common issue students run into is procrastination. Do not procrastinate. If you steadily work on a project, write a paper, or study throughout the week, it will be a lot less stressful than trying to cram the night before. For those who have already procrastinated themselves into panic mode. Don’t worry.  It’s never too late to start. Give yourself a couple of undistracted hours to work, and you will be surprised at what you can accomplish.

If you feel like you’re falling behind, give yourself a break from your phone and social media. Personally, the amount of time I spend distracted by my phone buzzing or playing around with silly Snapchat filters, is valuable time that I know I should have been putting towards homework. When a phone is sitting next to you, the temptation is too strong, so just set it in a different room, and get to work.

Feeling overwhelmed is very common in the last couple weeks of a semester. Don’t be afraid to reach out to others for help. The best person to help you understand the material is your professor, but sometimes just talking to a friend or a family member can really lift a weight off of your shoulders. They might even be willing to help you study or have a few tips to share with you.

Get some sleep. Pulling all-nighters to finish last-minute work isn’t helping anyone. The quality of work won’t be your best, and you’ll be wearing yourself out. The last thing anyone needs is to be sick during finals week. Always take care of yourself.

When I am very busy, one of my favorite things to do is to fill in a calendar full of my due dates and test days. It’s much easier for me to understand what I have to get done when I can look right at it. Plus, nothing beats the accomplishing feeling of crossing a daunting task off of a list or calendar.

It may seem like there’s so much to do with so little time to do it, but while you’re in study mode, don’t forget to give yourself some breaks here and there.

If you’re searching for something to do during a study break, UND is hosting events all week to help you relax and have a little fun. On Wednesday, Dec. 7, there will be a Destress Fest to help students gather themselves before finals. The Destress Fest will include activities for students, and there will even be dogs there to pet and play with. On Friday, Dec. 9, students are able to get a free day-long pass to swim at the Canad Inns waterpark. At 11 a.m., there will be human battleship in the Hyslop pool. There will also be free tickets available in the Memorial Union for students to see a movie at River Cinema 15 in East Grand Forks for free on Friday and Saturday night. To see the full list of events, check out the UND Student Life Facebook page.

With or without these techniques, tips, and Destress Fests, I am optimistic that we will all make it through finals week. Push through, try your best, and know that it will be over very soon.

Emily Gibbens is an  opinion writer for   The Dakota Student. She can be reached at  [email protected]