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Staying healthy during finals

finalsAs finals week draws near, students everywhere are frantically preparing for the last big push of the semester. There are papers to write, research to be done, and endless amounts of studying to prepare for final exams. This workload often drives students to skimp on sleep and eat not the most nutritious or regular meals (e.g., pizza and caffeinated soda at 2 a.m.). Add deadline-induced stress to this mix, and it is easy to see how student health can deteriorate.

Getting a lot of sleep and eating well would be the best solutions, but they’re unrealistic for many. However, there are other steps that students can take to try to stay healthy during finals.

Vitamin C is an optimum addition to a student’s diet during finals week. Even if cold symptoms are less than evident, 500 mg of Vitamin C a day will keep the doctor away. Physician Assistant Professor Brenda Talarico says, “Staying healthy during busy times is tough.  However, try your best by drinking lots of water, eating an orange or an apple every day, and most importantly—never touch your face with your hands. Hard to do, but it really makes a difference!”

Also, start studying early so the bulk of testing preparation doesn’t pile up all at once and force you to pull an “all-nighter.” Many study-habit guides claim that your brain’s retention is best when you study for 45 minutes followed by a 15 minute break. If you have to stay up late to study, consider standing up (or even pace carefully) while you read to stay awake without the need for heavy caffeine.

There will be several events on campus to keep student morale up during finals week. Activities during finals week include caroling, a trip to the MOA, the Women’s Resource Center’s Spa Day (all are welcome) on Dec. 14, a holiday party, and the famous Late Night Breakfast on Dec. 17 starting at 10:30 p.m. Keep an eye on the digital screens around campus for specifics on finals-related events, and stay healthy.

For help with a range of issues, from test anxiety to finding help if you need it, visit the Center for Counseling and Health Promotion’s site:

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