Surviving the final weeks of fall semester

By Kimberly Marion

I know it is hard to come back to school. It seems as if Thanksgiving Break is a tease – a quick taste of what is to come after the next two weeks. As we buckle down for our finals, stress and a lack of sleep takes a major toll on college students, especially considering most of us suffer from the bad habit of procrastination.

Procrastination is the catalyst for roommates fighting and for binge drinking not of alcohol, but Red Bull and coffee. Procrastination leads to even more stress. How many times have you written a 10-page paper in one night? Then you, of course, go to class looking like a zombie. You have bags under your eyes, your clothes do not match and your hair looks like a wet cat is sitting on top of your head.

As you try to finish off this semester strong, I have a few suggestions that may help you in the next two weeks:

The first suggestion is one some may struggle with and that is not to drink heavily. This may sound like common sense to most of us; however, there are those who know all Molly’s bartenders by name. I am not saying not to go out because you may need a break from all the work you have to do, but to get sloppy drunk during finals time is just irresponsible.

Another idea is to break up your studying into chunks. Basically, do not cram. Too many times students cram all the information they can into their memory the night before. This may work for some people, but it can also make some students confused. Study a little bit each day until your final.

Time management is extremely important when studying. I would recommend going to a place where you will not be easily distracted by things such as television or loud music.

The third suggestion is to relax and take breaks and naps. This one applies to the students who are extremely grade-conscious and take things too seriously. My dad has a saying: “Study long, study wrong.” Breaks are essential. Just as your body physically becomes tired, so does your mind. You can chill out and listen to some music, watch a movie or work out. Working out is an especially good stress reliever.

The fourth tip comes on the days you take your final. Wake up at least an hour before the final and eat something. Hunger can be a major distraction during an exam. You also should wake up a little earlier because you may want to review and relax yourself before the exam. It can be hard to take a test when you are disoriented after waking up late.

Do not let the art of procrastination weigh you down and stress you out as the end of the semester approaches rapidly. Everyone should just be optimistic and see the light at the end of this grueling tunnel. Then there will be that oh so lovely winter break – an entire month off.

If you are tired and burnt out, just think about how we are only two weeks away from a life without homework, professors, roommates and tests. Thank goodness. After all of your finals are down, that is when you can go out and party and, of course, drink responsibly.

Columns reflect the opinion of the author and not necessarily that of the Northern Star staff.