The last week or two of the semester, sometimes referred to as “crunch time” or by other less-publishable terms, can be difficult for students (and for faculty). Here are some tips for students to help make finals week a little less stressful.
1. Go to the writing lab early and often
The Lab is located in Lindell Library on the street level, left of the circulation desk. Tutors can help writers at any stage of their writing process. No appointments are taken; just stop by. Hours are:
Monday: 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m. & 6:30-9:30 p.m.
Tuesday: 12-2:30 p.m.; 3-5:30 p.m. & 7:30-10 p.m.
Wednesday: 3-5:30 p.m. & 6:30-9 p.m.
Thursday: 12-2:30 p.m.; 3-5:30 p.m. & 7:30-10 p.m.
Friday: 5-7:30 p.m.
Sunday: 5-8 p.m.
2. Get help
Visit the academic skills office or talk with your professors about study groups that may be available for your class. If there isn’t a study group or tutor available, ask a classmate or roommate to study with you.
The Franklin Institute cautions that any amount of sleep deprivation will diminish mental performance. Mark Mahowald, a professor of neurology at the University of Minnesota Medical School, says, “One complete night of sleep deprivation is as impairing in simulated driving tests as a legally intoxicating blood-alcohol level.”
4. Eat healthfully
Processed foods don’t do much good for your body or your brain. And while caffeine might keep you awake, it also dehydrates you. Be sure to chase your caffeine beverage of choice with plenty of water.
WebMD recommends these foods for a healthy brain: blueberries, wild salmon (go to Coastal Seafoods on Minnehaha for some), nuts and seeds, whole grains, beans, pomegranate juice, freshly brewed tea, and dark chocolate. A visit to the Seward Co-op will provide you with all of these foods!
The Mayo Clinic suggests that just 30 minutes of exercise per day can improve your mood, give you more energy, and help you sleep better. And while you’re on the treadmill, you might just get an inspiration about that paper you’ve been struggling to begin.
6. Check your finals schedule
You can’t do well on your test if you don’t know what time your exam is being held. Go to the Registrar’s website to check the schedule or stop in the Enrollment Center to ask them if you need help.
7. Do your best
Miguel Ruiz, author of The Four Agreements, encourages us to do always do our best; he also reminds us that our best on one day and under one set of circumstances may be very different than our best on another day. Remember that your best isn’t always going to be perfect.
8. Reward yourself
After you’ve taken your last exam and submitted your last paper for the fall term, do something nice for yourself. Go for a walk along the river. See the Holidazzle Parade in downtown Minneapolis. Take the light rail to the Mall of America to watch Hugo, Arthur Christmas, Happy Feet 2, the Muppets, or that awful vampire love story.