What not to do during finals week

AJ Edwards

My fellow Huskies, the time has arrived.

That’s right: It’s finals week. Time to pull all-nighters, drink tons of coffee and Red Bull and maybe hit up a party or two because, let’s face it, we’re about to be out of this beast for the summer.

Those three things I have mentioned may seem like great ideas to some of you. There may be a lot of you who do just that: stay up all night cramming, drink tons of caffeine and get inebriated in order to remove the stress of finals week. Let me tell you right now that those are perhaps the worst things to do in order to prepare for finals.

According to Sheela Doraiswamy of mindthesciencegap.org, “…a night of sleep loss reduces your cognitive function the next day, making it hard to focus and increases your tendency to ‘zone out,’ among several other things.” While you may feel like you are studying hard and ready for that A, you are actually putting yourself at a higher risk for failure. Instead of pulling an all-nighter, set aside time during the day to study and do not force yourself to break away from your normal sleeping habit. I know it seems hard, but you may have to put your social life on hold for a week until finals are over. Wouldn’t that be better than having to retake that calculus course next semester instead of graduating?

I love energy drinks and coffee; who doesn’t? While that ice-cold Red Bull may seem like the remedy you need to push through your study time, it actually can have a negative effect on you. According to livescience.com drinking too much caffeine can impair one’s cognitive functions. This can happen especially if you combine that with pulling all-nighters. Instead of relying on energy drinks to stay awake or give you that boost you need during the day, set aside some time and go for a jog or do some sort of exercise. That generally helps me get through my day without having to chug down a Red Bull.

I’ve noticed that every time I open my windows in my apartment I hear music, laughter and all the signs of a bitching party. While I feel there’s nothing wrong with partying, why don’t you party-goers take a step back and think about what you’re doing? First, the parties by my apartment go on until usually around 3 or 4 a.m. They’re pulling all-nighters when they are supposedly preparing for finals. Second, people tend to drink too much alcohol and not enough water, so you may end up waking up with a hangover. That seems like just the thing you need when you’re preparing for finals.

While it may seem like the only alternatives are all-nighters, energy drinks and alcohol, these may not be the wisest of choices for study aids. Do some exercise and put your social life on hold for a week. It’s all about your future.