Dec 092002
Authors: Adrienne Hoenig

The key to doing well on finals is managing your time, CSU health and stress professionals say.

Scott C. Case, assistant coordinator for the stress management program at CSU, encourages students to make an effort not to procrastinate.

“Try not to put stuff off to the last minute,” he said. “Don’t expect to remember anything if you cram.”

Case said students should to be on top of their studies now, so they are able to work ahead.

“You have to set aside time for yourself to get the job done,” Case said. “Or keep up as best you can.”

If students haven’t planned ahead, the most important thing is to stay physically healthy, said Deb Morris, health educator at CSU.

Maintaining normal sleep patterns, eating balanced foods, staying hydrated, exercising regularly, and moderating caffeine and sugar all contribute to how well students perform on exams, she said. Sleeping enough and in a consistent pattern can be the most important when trying to manage stress.

“Try to maintain some basic sleep pattern,” Morris said. “It’s important that (students) can rest when they sleep.”

The National Sleep Foundation recommends that young adults get at least eight hours of sleep a night, but estimates that most get less than seven.

For students who haven’t planned ahead, and are having a hard time finding time to sleep, Case recommends that when the stress bug starts to bite, students break for a minute and take deep, relaxing breaths.

“If you start to notice that you’re stressed, give yourself permission to stop, just for a minute,” Case said. “It really works.”

Christina Hiatt, sophomore business major, has five finals to take in three days. However, she says she has her studying under control.

“I’ve already started making flashcards,” Hiatt said. “I feel like I should’ve started earlier, I still have a lot of work to do.” She said part of the reason she started so early was to ensure that she could still get a good night’s sleep during finals week.

“I need at least eight hours a night,” Hiatt said.

When you’re studying…

– Make a list of tasks you need to get done

– Devote a certain amount of time to each task

– Give yourself permission to take a break when you need one

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