Finals week can be filled with all sorts of feelings. It might be difficult transitioning from having a regular class schedule to now only having one main priority: studying. It is important to manage your time effectively to stay productive. Whatever method you choose to study, you might find yourself under some more pressure than usual.
One thing that helps me stay refreshed during finals week is taking breaks. Frequently taking breaks during your studies can be beneficial to your learning. According to Cornell University, taking meaningful breaks between five and 60 minutes can increase your body's energy and focus. Good news is that Wellness and Recreation holds De-Stress Fest from April 24 through May 3 along with other campus organizations for everyone looking for a study break.
Monday: What’s the Scoop? (Prevention Services)
Tuesday: Howl and Chill: Whine and Design (Wellness and Recreation)
Wednesday: Bracelets in the Brickyard (Wellness and Recreation)
Thursday: Happiness at Hunt (Wellness and Recreation)
Friday: Puppies and Pizza (Career Development Center)
If you are interested in more information, I recommend checking out the Wellness and Recreation website here.
Another quality study break could include going for wellness walks or stretching at your study location. If you’ve found a great spot at the library that you don’t want to give up, try to incorporate a standing break every 25-30 minutes. Some stretches I like to do are holding one arm over another, one arm back, calf stretches and thigh stretches. I also like to bring foods I can quietly snack on to my study space. My go-to study snacks are grapes, blueberries, nuts and pretzels.
While studying, it is also important to eat intuitively. This is recognizing when you are hungry and fueling your body and brain. Try to prepare meals at the beginning of the week to help optimize your study time. If you eat on campus, I recommend ordering food ahead of time or heading to the dining hall during slow hours such as 10-11 a.m. or 3-4 p.m. If you or someone you know is facing food insecurity, the Feed the Pack Food Pantry has moved to their new location in North Hall. The pantry is free and accessible to all students, faculty and staff associated with NC State regardless of financial status.
Another thing to mention is monitoring your caffeine intake. While it is tempting to pull an all-nighter studying for finals, your body needs rest to recover. According to the Sleep Foundation, you should consider avoiding the consumption of caffeine six to eight hours before going to sleep to allow your body to naturally wind down. Caffeine effects typically begin around half an hour after consumption and can stay in your system for up to five hours and sometimes even longer as suggested by the National Library of Medicine. Sleep is incredibly important during these long days!
If you prefer to escape the library, our campus offers a variety of outdoor spaces. The Corner on Centennial campus is a great place to grind and unwind as you’re steps from Hunt library and Lake Raleigh. Main Campus offers the Brickyard which has the perfect amount of shade and sun. If you’re feeling adventurous, take a trip to the North Carolina Museum of Art. It is a couple minutes off campus and has beautiful studying views.
Lastly, keeping a positive attitude throughout finals will help you tremendously. Mindset is everything; don’t let one mistake or roadblock get you down. Ways to practice a healthy mindset include posting motivational notes in common areas, listening to a motivational podcast, journaling and meditation.
It is important to recognize that finals aren’t the only stressors during this time. Many students are still balancing jobs, volunteer work, internships and other extracurricular activities that can influence stress levels. By participating in De-Stress Fest, I hope you are able to celebrate your hard work and recharge your inner batteries. Remember — you got this!
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