Getting the grade takes a toll. Here’s how to avoid finals week burnout

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Studying in his dorm, Isaac Diggs studies for his upcoming final exams. The freshman in computer engineering has a stressful upcoming week. (Rowan Jones | Collegian Media Group)

An old saying goes “there is no success without sacrifice,” but that sacrifice could result in big consequences that surpass when you get the grade. Here are some things to pay attention to during these last weeks of the semester.

Procrastination

As winter break approaches, it is also the time of the semester were procrastination reaches its peak. As the clock ticks away to our impending academic doom, procrastinating is a quite exciting solution.

Carol Moran-Brown, senior director of the Counseling Center at Champlain College in Burlington, Vermont, said, “Staying stress-free is important, but stress is not inherently bad for students. There is an ideal level of stress for each one of us, which helps motivate us to do our best. When we are functioning at that ideal level, we are sufficiently pushed to do our best, yet not paralyzed by the results of excessive stress. The goal is to find the ideal stress level and then try to stay there.”

By taking each task one-by-one and properly managing your time, you can avoid cramming for finals. Leaving all your tasks until the very end can make information harder to retain and puts your health at risk.

Skipping meals

Not having time to exercise is often an excuse made, but also healthy eating can drop to the bottom of your priorities list during finals week. What might not always be mentioned is that healthy foods can boost your well-being and academic performance in multiple ways.

Caffeinated drinks are often the best ally to keep us energized and concentrated for an extended period, but also how and what you eat can have a powerful influence on your energy levels.

Eating healthy foods at regular intervals helps you perform well throughout the day and avoids putting your immune system at risk.

High risk of stress and depression

Eating is critical to keep your body energized but also to keep your mental health in check. In a recent study, the British Journal of Psychiatry compared participants that ate a whole food diet and those that ate a diet filled with processed foods, finding that those that consumed more of the whole foods or less of the processed foods were less likely to become depressed.

The life of a college student can be very stressful, especially during the last weeks of the semester. A study conducted by MentalHelp in 2016 reported that 89 percent of college students were stressed at least two to four times per semester, and 30 percent said they were stressed for almost the entire semester.

Students exposed to chronic stress can suffer some long-term side effects, such as diabetes and depression.

K-State campus resources

K-State’s Manhattan campus has multiple resources that students can utilize during this period. Receiving tutoring and counseling is nothing to be ashamed of.

To reach the Kansas State Counseling Services, visit their website at k-state.edu/counseling. For more information on tutoring, visit k-state.edu/tutoring.

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