It may be December, but chances are the Auburn Family is not ready to sing about the most wonderful time of the year just yet. First, they have to go through finals week.
However, that doesn’t mean that everything has to be suffering and stress until Christmas break.
There are a lot of resources, events and locations to help the Auburn Family to succeed. The Office of Health Promotion and Wellness has set up a new site to help students find these resources and do better during finals week, both academically and personally.
Brain Food, a page on the Office of Health Promotion and Wellness website, offers students tips to keep their brains active and stress levels down.
“Something that I want to let students know is that taking care of yourself mentally, emotionally and physically are all part of self-care,” said Markie Pasternak, coordinator of Mental Well Being. “Self-care is how we manage and put time into ourselves so that we have the energy and the resources to put time into other things and be successful.”
Some important takeaways for wellbeing are staying hydrated by drinking things like water and smoothies and eating enough to provide energy to be productive and alert. If someone has trouble eating because anxiety upsets their stomach, Brain Food suggests using the BRAT method to snack their way to success by eating bananas, rice, applesauce and toast, which are easy foods for an unsettled stomach to handle.
Pasternak emphasized the idea that self-care is different for everyone, be it going on a run, eating a healthy meal or even just getting eight hours of sleep. Brain Food has a schedule of events like “Donut Stress” that are being held on campus during finals week to help students be healthy and productive.
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Another important topic for Pasternak is the efficacy of pulling an all-nighter. She wants students to know that these are detrimental to their grades, especially the night before an exam.
“So the problem is when students do stay up all night like that, you lose those problem-solving skills and executive functions in our brains,” said Pasternak. “When students pull an all-nighter, they know the information but they’re not able to recall it and use it or manipulate it in a problem.”
She encourages students to find a healthy way to get enough sleep while still being able to study effectively.
“In high school, I was more on top of things, and in college, I kind of relaxed and I’m definitely feeling more stressed than I ever have before,” said Bree Cobine, freshman in biomedical sciences. “I think a big thing for me is recognizing whenever I’m working on something, staying up until midnight does not help me, so if I don’t know it by 11 p.m., I go to bed.”
While the struggle is real, Auburn students continue to rise to the challenge, experimenting until they find the study strategy that is best for them.
“I started studying over Thanksgiving break,” said Camille Colter, freshman in pre-medicine. "I work through practice tests and things I’ve already done and mainly focus on trying to figure out what I got wrong first."
Carter Hoff, senior in environmental design, has one priority for doing well during finals week: do not procrastinate. His advice to procrastinators, other than an emphatic “don’t,” is to strategize.
“Make sure if you’re procrastinating, at least procrastinate in a smart way,” Hoff said. “Make sure you still have the time ahead of you to get the assignment done, and make sure you have enough time that you’re not working right up until the bell on a project or paper.”
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