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ImageFinals are upon us once again.  The stress and the nail-biting has started to set in as you realize how many papers and tests you have in a span of two weeks.  Fear not though!  Below you will find 6 tips on how to survive finals.

1. Get enough sleep – I know, I know you have too much to do and sleep seems like it should take a back seat to your 20 page paper on the importance of Charles Dickens’ novels on Victorian society but… getting enough sleep is going to boost your concentration, help your brain function at its best, help lower your stress levels and will lessen (maybe) the need for caffeine which makes your body crash and can dehydrate you.

2. Be as prepared as you possible – Study, study, study.  Don’t underestimate the power of being prepared.  Sit in a quiet place for a bit and go over your notes, skim your textbooks and course packs.  Look at old assignments and tests to review what you have learned throughout the semester.  You’d be surprised how much less stress you will put yourself through by being more prepared (even if it is just a little) and not taking a cavalier attitude.

3. Eat healthy – Even though junk food is the easiest, quickest and cheapest (sometimes) option for eating on the go, it won’t sustain you during long periods of studying, paper writing or test taking.  Instead grab some protein-rich snacks and healthy complex carbohydrates.

Fruit bowl - containing pomegranate, pears, ap...

Fruit bowl – containing pomegranate, pears, apples, bananas, an orange and a guyava (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

  • Protein-rich foods like peanut butter, eggs, cheese and nuts are great brain food.  Not only will these foods help you stay fuller longer but will also help improve alertness and concentration.
  • Complex carbohydrates such as lowfat yogurt with blueberries, hummus and pita chips and celery with peanut butter and raisins will  once again help you keep those hunger pains at bay and will aid in concentration.
  • Fruits and veggies like apples, bananas, grapes, carrot sticks, radishes and celery are easy to transport and won’t create sugar highs and lows like that Twix bar will…even though that Twix bar would be delicious.

4. Stay hydrated – Drink water! Dehydration can cause you to feel irritable, tired and be unable to hold your concentration.  Finals already make you irritable and tired because you have worked so hard.  Don’t put the extra stress on the your body, when you feel thirsty, take a break and get a glass of water.  Remember, the library has FREE water coolers and big cups.

Stretching kitty

Stretching kitty (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

5. Take breaks – Every hour or so it’s a good idea to look up from what you have been doing and rest your eyes.  Get up and stretch for a few minutes, go to the bathroom,  grab a snack, some water or coffee and chat with a friend for a few minutes.  Trust me, a break will do you some good.  Here is a link to some good stretches you can do to help reinvigorate you: http://liveu.syr.edu/study-break-yoga/

6. Find a good study spot (like the Katz Library!) – Find a nice quiet, comfortable spot to write your papers or study for your finals.  If you like to study with music in the background stick in your ear buds and close out the rest of the world so you can work.  Make sure you have the resources you need before you get started so that you can whiz through.

7. R-E-L-A-X – One of the most important things to remember is not to freak out!  Just do the best you can do and remember to breathe.