Top 5 Ways to Kill your Finals (Or, Not Let them Kill you!)

November 02, 2015

 Kimia Nikseresht

With midterms finally behind us, we are reminded yet again of the true definition of being a U.Va. student - long hours in the libraries, passionate research papers, innovative discoveries, and the beloved pursuit of knowledge. Whether we like to admit it or not, we are a student body determined to change the world, one project at a time. But this ambitious determination to suc-ceed sometimes comes at a cost to ourselves: stress, the need to achieve perfection, and the inevitable occasional failure. The truth is, while we are celebrating Halloween and looking forward to Thanksgiving break, fi-nals are right around the corner, and approaching quickly. So, here are some tips and tricks to minimizing anxiety, maximize confidence, and end the semester with a big loud BOOM!

1. Take an exercise break! It might feel like it’s a waste of time or irresponsible to be at the gym when you have exams to study for, but trust me, it’s a valuable place to spend your time. I’m not saying we all need to have 6-packs by the time finals roll around, but sticking to your pre-existing exercise regimen is the most important tool to staying energized and being more efficient when you do finally sit down to study. What do the experts recommend? Hitting the gym 2-3 times a week, for 30-60 minutes each. TRY THIS: -Try one of the group classes offered at the AFC! Zumba, yoga, kickboxing… They’ve got it all! And since midterms are a less busy time of year for them, you can avoid that “all-eyes-on-me” feeling that comes with being the new one in class. -Not into that? Hit the pool! The AFC pool and hot tub are an underused resource that can offer both relaxation and a great workout.

2. Find new places to study on grounds and in Charlottesville! Sometimes, it’s less about the material we are studying and more about getting trapped in the “finals rut”. Don’t know what I’m talking about? It’s the time around finals when everyone you know falls into their routine of sweatpants, too much coffee, and slumber parties at Clemons. This time around, give your brain a new perspective by exploring new places to study on and off grounds! TRY THIS: -Check out the newly refurbished first floor of Wilson hall! With its new sleek interior design, it is perfect for studying with a fresh perspective. And not many people know it exists (yet) so it will be quiet, warm, and perfect for midterms! -Your trolley destination: Java Java Café! Located on the Downtown Mall, Java Java is a family owned café that offers relaxing music, incredible coffee and tea, the best baklava in town, and high-speed Wi-Fi for their customers. Grab a cup of coffee, and work away in their serene at-mosphere.

3. Blue books and pens for days. Do yourself the biggest favor of all and get prepared BEFORE finals week. Stock up on blue books, pens and pencils, flash cards, and anything else you may need throughout the week. That way you can spend your week studying and taking care of yourself rather than running across grounds to the bookstore to pick up a last minute blue book or a highlighter. Remember: By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail -Benjamin Franklin. TRY THIS: -Study tools and blue books can be found at the UVa Bookstore, open M-F 8:30-7:00, with shortened days on weekends. -If you do find yourself caught in a last-minute blue book hunt (especially for 8 AM exams, when the bookstore is not yet open), the Kroger at Barracks is your 24/7 destination! Take the North-line and pick up some yummy snacks and fruit on your way! -Supplies are also sold at the CVS on the corner, open M-S 7-10:00.

4. HealthyHealthyHealthy snacking As enticing as a week of pizza, coffee, and campus cookies is, try to balance your diet with fresh fruits, vegetables, and lots of water. Unhealthy foods give you less energy, makes you hungry again much faster, and will leave you feeling less motivated. TRY THIS: -The weekend before finals week, buy your favorite fruits, peal and slice them, and store it in your fridge as a fruit salad. Throughout the week, use this as mid-day snacks, add milk and blend into a smoothie, or add yogurt and granola and eat as breakfast!  

5. BREATHE! The worst part of finals is the stress. But allowing your body (and mind) to keep all of that stress and anxiety inside of you can be detrimental to both your health and your success. It is so im-portant to recognize that your human needs are still relevant, even during finals. Get 7-8 hours of sleep, take regular showers (please!), and take a few minutes each day to breathe deeply. De-stressing (or at least trying to) will not only make you feel better, but will help you focus and perform better. Remember, midterms come and go but you and your body remain, so take care of yourself! Regardless of what anyone says or how midterms might make you feel, you are al-ways more important than any exam will be. TRY THIS: -For tips and suggestions about mindfulness and stress relief, check out this article!

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