Just breathe

Brianne Ries

Assistant editor


It’s that time of year again. Residence Halls are decked for the holidays, and only one thing stands between you and freedom from this semester: finals.

Whether you are a freshman or a fifth-year student, finals mean a variety of things, none of which are generally considered positive. Stress, time management, research papers, essays, projects, more stress: All students will face these issues during the next two weeks. It doesn’t have to be all bad, though.

There are plenty of ways exist to prepare for the stress of finals and ways that you can relieve the stress during finals week, which, in case you didn’t know, is Dec. 16-20.

Sophomore Monique Schreiber said that breaking up your study time can help.

“Taking frequent breaks and going for a walk can get some blood flowing,” she said.

Schreiber also said finding and focusing on outlets for stress is helpful, whether they’re music or yoga. She also said meeting with groups and asking professors lots of questions are important to doing well on your finals.

No matter how well you prepare, those last-minute crises during finals week will always pop up. Christine Kirk, instructor of aerobics, yoga and aquatics, said healthy living is key to managing stress during finals.

“Nutrition is extremely important and so is sleep,” she said. “Also, just remember to breathe.”

Kirk said students should utilize the campus’s free resources, such as the weight room and the pool.

“Exercise is a natural stress reliever,” she said. “When you exercise, you release endorphins and natural morphine, which minimizes anxiety and stress.”

The Linfield Activities Board is also sponsoring Zumba and yoga, activities instructed by Kirk, Dec. 16. A Latin dance workout, Zumba, will be held from 12-12:45 p.m., and yoga will be from 12:45-1:30 p.m. both in the Multipurpose Room of the Ted Wilson Gymnasium. Both events are free.

Counselor John Kerrigan said while it may be easy to look at everything as a huge pile of tasks, breaking your finals down into smaller pieces is beneficial.

“[Students] have to recognize that studying 24/7 through finals is probably not a good idea,” he said.

Taking breaks and relaxing may seem impossible, but it is important, Kerrigan said.

“Some students may think they can’t afford to take a break, but if you don’t, your brain can turn to mush,”
he said.

Kerrigan suggests a variety of ways to keep your brain from reaching maximum capacity, such as watching “Grey’s Anatomy” or talking to your roommates and friends.

“Take a trip to Cornerstone or Muchas to put a little fuel in your tank,” Kerrigan said. “A diet of pizza and Pepsi is not the best choice.”

Other things on Kerrigan’s list of dos are avoiding alcohol and to not think that you are the only one on campus that is stressed. Kerrigan said if you are stressed out, it is important to acknowledge it and say to yourself that you can make it through this.

Kerrigan also suggests utilizing bubbles and crayons as creative means of alleviating stress, or something else you enjoy, such as playing the guitar or having a warm cup of tea.

If you begin to feel like the situation is going downhill, Kerrigan said to head to the counseling center where you can come up with a plan, or talk to your professors about the possibility of extending your final paper or taking your exam on a different day.

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