Editorial: The End Is Nigh


To some students’ excitement and others’ dismay, finals week is nearly upon us. Tests, presentations and papers galore contribute to the rise and peak of student stress levels during this time of year. With no time left and little relief in sight, many students are feeling the pressures of finals week and are already suffering from lack of sleep and proper nutritional habits. The newspaper editorial staff members urge students as well as faculty and staff to take precaution when preparing for finals week. The entire Baker community should remember that health always comes first.

Keeping a balanced routine, especially during times of intense stress, is crucial in maintaining good health, whether that involves sleeping, eating or taking mental breaks. In order for all of campus to see a successful close to the spring 2016 semester, it is vital that students take the necessary steps in living healthy lifestyles during finals week.

Although classes and meetings complicate our schedules, it’s important that students remember that without healthy bodies, we cannot have healthy minds. As college students, we understand it isn’t always possible to have an everyday eating or sleeping routine, but going out of the way to ensure we have a lunch packed or a snack at the ready will have a bigger effect on our mental state and final grades than many of us think. And even though we all get a little cranky when we’re hungry, a Snickers bar from the vending machine may not be the smartest choice in snack. Remember, a healthy body equals a healthy mind, and a healthy mind means success as a student.

Sadly, finals week brings with it added pressure to do well. Under that pressure, many turn to studying methods that are not only detrimental to their cause, but also to their health. We urge students to avoid cramming all night, abusing substances and refusing to relax.

Some students can be found staying up for days in order to cram in last minute studying, while others may choose to abuse substances like caffeine or prescription Adderall in order to fight sleep.

Staying up all night and cramming for a final is more than inefficient, it’s counterproductive. Studies have shown that without sleep, the mind does not rest, and as a result, the brain loses the ability to focus or retain information, making last-minute study sessions worthless and tests even harder to pass.

Taking too much adderall, with our without a prescription, is obviously dangerous to any student’s health and grade, not to mention their standing with the university, should they get caught. We know it’s a peer pressure, but the best way to avoid trouble, and the long list of possible side effects that can come from taking adderall, is to simply stay away from it, especially considering it won’t do any good in the long run.

While avoiding Adderall should be a no-brainer, some students turn to an over-the-counter solution: caffeine. Though wonderful in the form of everyone’s favorite drinks, caffeine is more detrimental to the human body than many people realize, and is also counterproductive.

Though our bodies may feel a sudden jolt, it’s a jolt that is not good for the body, and it won’t last forever. In nearly every case, it will result in us being even more tired than before we decided to drink that extra cup of coffee. Using energy drinks as a nitro-boost is even worse, as some, like Nos, have actually been tied to seizures when consumed in excess.

We should all know better than to stay up too late, drink too much caffeine or abuse harmful substances, but sometimes students feel as though there are no alternatives. We have some solutions for students who would like to conclude the semester on a happy and healthy note.

One is to avoid procrastination. If we don’t want to stay up until the crack of dawn doing a final paper, we can’t wait until the night before to start writing. If we want to do well on a test in a week without pulling our hair out, should we have any left after the semester, we need to start studying now and not wait until two days before to take in a semester’s worth of information.

The best way to stay ahead of the game and have a great finals week is to plan. Plan study times, and stick to them. Plan enough time in the morning to grab a granola bar or a bite at the caf. But perhaps most importantly, plan to have fun. At a time when all of our stress levels are at a high, it’s a necessity to take study breaks or catch a movie night with friends. After all, we’ve nearly made it through another academic year. If we plan for finals week and do it right, who says that we can’t have our cake and eat it too?