The final preparation

December 8th, 2011

Procrastination. Caffeine. Anxiety. The Grasselli Library. That is life around campus right now.

For most students, those words resonate heavily with them this week as they embark on the dreaded “Finals Week.” From Dec. 12 until Dec. 16, students will be deep into their studies, but there are a few things they can do to relieve some of the stress and be prepared.

First, do not panic. Panic will only cause more chaos. Experts suggest organization to keep panic out of your life. Know what has to get done and make a plan for when and how to complete everything.

Try an alternate study place if the usual spots are busy or distracting. The Dolan Reading Room or any empty classroom are good alternate locations.

The Grasselli Library starts its Finals Week hours Saturday, Dec. 10 from 10 a.m to midnight, Sunday from 11 a.m to 2 a.m and Monday-Thursday 7:30 a.m to 2 a.m.

Students should also try to stay healthy this week. Eating healthy and sleeping well will make finals easier to deal with.  Losing  sleep will result in a loss of focus and it will be more difficult to retain as much information, making it harder to stay awake during exams.

According to Jan Krevh, director of the JCU Health Center, “During finals sleep is a low priority, but very much needed. A power nap of 20 minutes (not much longer) will re-energize. One should still aim for six or seven hours of sleep for optimum test performance.”

Also try to exercise this week. Go for a light walk or fit in time to go to the gym. This will keep energy up and allow for a better night of sleep.

Finals Week can be an excuse for late night fast food runs or dinner from a vending machine, but eating unhealthy foods will not give the body and brain the nutrients they need. Students may need some coffee to get them through the day, but do not drink in excess or chug too many Red Bulls because sleep may never come that night.

In fact, Krevh said there is a healthier option to stay focused.

“An apple is actually more beneficial than caffeine to help stay focused. The crunch of biting into an apple and the vitamins from the skin are released slowly, making you feel more awake. The natural glucose found in the apple sustains your energy, preventing the ‘crash’ or mood swings that you feel with caffeine found in coffee or energy drinks.”

Although, it is important to study and complete work, a break is always necessary. Students should schedule in small study breaks that will allow them to refresh. These breaks will allow students to study more effectively.

“When I feel super overwhelmed, I just need a break to calm down and get back on track. I think it is important for students to know it is okay to take a breather,” said sophomore Erinn O’Rourke.

Krevh agreed.

“Stretching and moving after about two hours of studying is a must,” she said.

The John Carroll Health Center sponsors free massages in the LSC Atrium on Wednesday nights from 8 to 10 p.m. Not only will that give you a much needed break, but it will also be helping students’ health.

Ask for help. Students sometimes forget about all the great resources that are here for them. All professors have office hours which students can utilize. Departments also have student tutors who are willing to help.

The Writing Center located in O’Malley 207, offers students free consulting by trained assistants to help them with papers or assignments. Make an appointment by calling 216-397-4529 or emailing

Senior Lindsay Derda, who works for The Writing Center, encouraged students to use the Center for help on papers.

“Students do not realize how much we can help them improve their papers,” she said. “We are trained to consult with students on how to edit and develop them.”