Don’t let stress from final exams get the best of you

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Blake Glosson

Many students are usually on the brink of two letter grades in some of their classes as they enter finals.

The stress that comes from this can be detrimental if it’s left unaddressed.

No need to fret, though, as there are many things you can do to manage the pressure you feel in constructive and even beneficial ways.

Before making changes, it’s important to realize some stress is good. Stress shouldn’t be agonizing, but it should be motivating.

If you feel like you’re being too strained, taking your mind off the stressor might be a good thing. One way to do this is via the services offered at the Recreation Center.

Pierra Sobodas, senior nutrition and wellness major, works out at the Rec and thinks it’s a particularly useful activity during finals week.

“Having to study for all of your classes at once … that can be really stressful. It’s a lot of information,” Sobodas said. “[Exercising] really helps clear your mind and make you feel better.”

Physical activity releases endorphins and hormones that are affiliated with feelings of happiness, safety and accomplishment. These feelings can help curb some of the stress that might be limiting your potential.

Another factor that affects your stress is your mindset.

Management instructor Paul Vlajcic knows a thing or two about dealing with stress during this time of year.

With hundreds of papers to grade, he chooses to focus on the positives in his life rather than dwelling on the things that cause worry.

“I’ve got tons of papers to read, but I have a pretty good life,” Vlajcic said. “One thing I know is that the papers will be with me for another 10 days or so, but then my life will go on after that. All things will pass, the stress included.”

Grades are important, but they aren’t worthy of dragging you to a point of misery.

Enjoy your life, take a deep breath and think about the blessings and relationships you have; things that will last longer than finals will.

“Maybe that’s the bottom line,” Vlajcic said. “Have a real life, and then it’s easier to deal with stress.”

Diet also plays a role in the way you feel and perform.

Cortisol, a hormone released in response to stress, has been known to cause food cravings — particularly a desire for sugar.

But consider that gulping down a few Mountain Dews isn’t beneficial for cognitive function, and it won’t necessarily satisfy your craving.

If you really want to fulfill your sugar yearnings, try some mixed berries or yogurt with fruit.

These snacks not only have fiber, which increases satiety, but they also have antioxidants which can help reduce stress and fatigue.

Along with your fruit, here’s one last thing to chew on. If you dug yourself into a stressful hole this semester, learn from your mistakes for future terms.

Study early, plan ahead and make small changes so you can have a better experience next time around.