A Simple Guide to Surviving Finals Week

A Simple Guide to Surviving Finals Week

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Finals week. Yes, I am typing this post already having many side effects of dreaded exams including baggy eyes and searching for an abundance of sleep, but seem to only find more pots of coffee. It’s undeniable that final exam week could feature the highest stress levels per square foot of Mount Union property than any other week of the academic year. By reading this guide however, I am sure you will be able to push through the dreaded last week of the semester being in higher spirits, at least a little. Give these hints a try, as they might help you.

Remain Organized
Find the exam schedule and determine which days and times your final exams will be held. It may be helpful to prepare a written schedule of the date of your tests along with when you plan on studying for them. With having many tests crammed together, your mind may slip of when certain things are due. It is important to prioritize your workload and study for comprehensive exams more. Also write down study sessions, final reviews and times you will meet with groups to go over material. All of these will help you better understand the class material. In addition, calculating your grade in class and determining a goal for the final will help you stay focused.

Stay Healthy
Final exam week may force you to lose many hours of sleep, but don’t let it be a habit! Sleep is crucial for your body to rejuvenate and rest allowing you to be more focused and observatory, which are essentials for taking a test. Another important thing is to not skip meals. Food is energy to the body and it feeds your mind to help ideas flow and stay concentrated. Also, remember to take study breaks by going for a run, working out or just getting up to dance for 10 minutes on a study break. Remember to stay hydrated too! A dehydrated body is weak and lethargic, something you don’t want just in time for finals.

Be Confident
This is the most crucial part of surviving finals. Having studied material for lengthy periods of time, it is easy to say you probably know the material better than you think you do. Keep things in perspective. This is just another test that you are prepared for, so put it in your mind that you will do well. Remember too that confidence comes not from always being right but from not fearing to be wrong. As long as you do your best what else more could you ask for?

Good luck to everyone on final exams! Be great.

Just Dance

Just Dance

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What is one thing people love to do, but they usually aren’t good and hate doing it in front of other people?  Dancing!

Let’s be serious, who doesn’t sing and dance in the car?  I do!  I also dance in my room when nobody’s watching.  I am pretty decent at Dance Dance Revolution and Just Dance, but I’ve always been eager to learn how to dance, any kind of dance.  I can Bernie like nobody’s business. The running man is an easy one. Every day I am not shuffling, and I can dance like any other person at a club, but that’s all too easy.

The dance class I am taking is PE 140 and it takes place in the multi-purpose room in The MAAC.  I’ve learned Foxtrot, Swing and Rumba.  It is a 1-credit course, although we meet twice a week on Monday and Wednesday.  My class is small so we are personally taught, which definitely helps a great deal when you’re doing something you’ve pretty much never done before.

My favorite is probably swing simply because it is upbeat music and I can’t help but smile when I am doing it.  This is easily the only class I have taken where I am smiling and laughing nearly the entire time.  Simply put, it is fun!  Foxtrot is meant for slow and smooth movement across the dance floor.  I feel classy while I am dancing and I feel as if I should be in a tuxedo.  Rumba is all in the hips.  I am no Shakira but you have to be sexy to say the least while dancing.

What have I learned from this class?  The man is the leader and the woman follows.  Dancing and haunted houses are possibly the only two things where the man leads and the woman follows.  Mount Union doesn’t only offer the traditional academic classes like high school, you have a chance to let go and have fun.  When I am just having a stressful week, I honestly look forward to dancing.  It takes my mind off of all the stress and I just focus on stepping in time and making sure my partner follows my lead.

If you want to add another class for next semester, I highly recommend PE 140 or PE 141.  It is only one credit but it makes it feel as if you are taking less classes simply because you are having more fun than you normally would.  You also have to learn to keep up the beat with the music, and it requires some coordination. But don’t worry, even if you don’t have the best coordination, that’s what this class is for … teaching you how to dance.  So go for it, just dance!

7 Simple Stress Busters

7 Simple Stress Busters

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Going from college to high school can seem like a big transition for some students.  The academic workload, increase of responsibility and just the aspect of being on your own for the first time in your life can come as a bit of a shock.  Many students are not prepared and putting all of the new aspects of college life together at one moment can lead to what all people have but dread: stress.

Stress is a common presence in the lives of many Americans, not just college students, and it can arise from a multitude of factors varying for each individual.  College students, however, do face high levels of stress, which can contribute to how successful a student is and their overall college experience. Learning to manage stress can be a key component to a successful college experience. The biggest problem with stress is how to deal with it.  What actions can be taken to relieve and prevent future stress? What do you do if you are stressed?  Well, here are seven simple tips to help relieve and prevent future stress.

1. Allow plenty of time. Do not get involved in too much or spread yourself too thin, as being too busy is a major source of stress.  Allot yourself enough time to complete every task that needs to be accomplished.  Decide which tasks are most important and need to be completed first.

2. Exercise. Exercising or just doing something active, whether it’s yoga, rock climbing or even karate, is a great stress buster.  Exercise improves blood flow to the brain and causes the release of chemicals called endorphins into the bloodstream, which provide feelings of happiness and an overall sense of wellbeing.

3. Get plenty of rest. Sleep is important in the management of stress meaning that getting enough sleep allows time for your mind to refocus, recharge and rebalance.  Sometimes getting in a daily nap or going to bed early one night may be all you need.

4. Talk with a friend or family member. If you are very stressed, talk to someone.  Find someone that you feel comfortable talking to and tell them what is on your mind.  Sometimes getting other peoples perspective or just getting things off your chest in general can make all the difference.

5. Get some quiet time. As in college life, alone time is hard to find. Personal space is rare for students; bathrooms and bedrooms are shared as well as the gym and even the library.  Finding time to yourself is difficult.  However, it is important to find a space where you can go and be alone to escape from the crazy world of college life.  Getting sufficient quiet time in which you can regain thoughts and just relax can work wonders on your stress levels.

6. Make room for fun. It is important to make time for activities that you enjoy doing – the activities that you do for you, for fun.  Everyone has something that they love doing and that makes them happy when doing it, whether its playing a sport, the guitar or even doing volunteer work.  Find something you love and use that as your go-to-activity when you feel stressed.

7. Keep things in perspective. College life may seem overwhelming, as there are many things that you want to do.  Although this is the case, there is only so much a person can handle and the reason why you are in college must not be, but often forgotten, is academics.  No matter what you choose to involve yourself in, the most important priority is always academics.  Nothing else will matter if you do not succeed academically.

Stress, like many things in life, is manageable and how you deal with stress holds much significance.  Following these seven simple tips will help de stress your life, allowing you to lead a more successful and fun college career.

Lose The Stress, Find Your Escape

Lose The Stress, Find Your Escape

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This photograph was taken in Hawaii.

Stress is something that hits every student. Knowing how to deal with it or just how to avoid it all together is a big thing. Finding something that gets your mind off of your school work and grades is important when trying to live a balanced life. Nobody likes to just live in stress, so knowing that you are able to turn to something to turn off that stress is important. Find something you enjoy doing.

I turn to wrestling because it’s a great way to exert all of my physical energy and all of my emotions that might have been running through me throughout the day. It’s just seven minutes my opponent and I trying to figure out who truly is smarter, stronger and faster.

When I started writing poetry my junior year of high school, I didn’t think I was good. I still don’t think I am good at it but that’s not the point. Writing down a poem about how I may have felt that day was something I had never done before. It was a way for me to literally see what was going through my mind. It’s as if I collected all the junk from throughout the day and sneezed it on a piece of paper. I finally saw what was going on. Everyone feels better after they sneeze, and I felt better after writing a poem.

Sometimes talking to friends or listening to music just wasn’t enough for me. If what you might turn to usually isn’t there, try to have alternatives. For some people, simply screaming at the top of their lungs makes them feel better. Breaking things is always fun too, just make sure it’s not something you might have to pay back. Sleeping and dreaming is another great way to get away from reality, but that never lasts long enough.

Hopefully you have found something that helps you relieve stress. If you are stressed out about it, just talk about it with someone. Chances are he or she is freaking out about something and needs to let it all out too. Even if it is a five-minute conversation, at least you got it out.