Puksta Self-Care: Time to Shine!

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Preparation is over. The time for Pukstas warriors has come! Much like the final push to the summit of a mountain, it’s time to brace ourselves for the final effort by gathering our tools, readying our minds and bodies for the tasks ahead, mapping out a successful approach, and just putting one foot (metaphorically) in front of the other till the peak has been achieved!

Here’s some tips on doing your best:

-Use energy drinks sparingly and wisely: Sure, it might seem that draining an energy drink before the big test will have you sharp and at top shape, but what if you overdo it? Energy drinks, especially for those who don’t take them often, can have unexpected (and sometimes dangerous) effects. Really think about this before you take one and definitely don’t take anything that is usually prescribed if it hasn’t been prescribed for you specifically. Also, be aware that some energy drink ingredients can make people jumpy and anxious when they start taking effect, so give yourself some time before pens are filling out answers. If you must take something then think about some coffee before contemplating anything stronger.

-Sleep before a test: It might sound counter-intuitive, but many experts state that a weary mind that has been studying is less accurate than a rested one that maybe didn’t do as much preparation. Though a combination of the two is optimal (and recommended) try to get at least three hours of sleep before heading to class. If sleep is impossible, then keep your eyes shut and just rest comfortably. The effect will have benefits, though not as much as full slumber.

-Re-read everything and make confirm your assignments are submitted: Resist dramatically submitting that crucial paper and turning off your laptop because (insert dramatic music) you just can’t muster another ounce of energy to write. Take some time to make sure your thoughts and research translated as intended. Reading things out loud is also a great way of finding errors and realizing that you could add a word or two. Also, after hitting “send”, do so before the deadline and make sure the actual file made it to the prof. Most campus systems allow students to download their submissions, so an easy confirmation is to save and close the file and then download and read the submission. It’s easy to send unrevised copies or even the entirely wrong file, especially when you’re tired and stressed.

-Set multiple alarms: There are horror stories about the student who accidentally slept through finals by mistake. This does happen and can have catastrophic consequences to your academic career, so guard against this by setting multiple alarms that are closely spaced. Don’t hit “snooze” and assume the next alarm will wake you. If you have a virtual assistant then also set a news brief that will get your mind running so you can get your blood pumping.

-Know when the stress has become too much: It happens to all of us at some point. The combination of stress and a lack of sleep can make us think about things in a way that isn’t either logical or healthy, so if you feel that things are feeling out of control, then get something to eat and some sleep even if it doesn’t seem like there’s time for it. If that’s not enough and things still are feeling dark then talk to someone asap! A friend is great, but a drop-in with the campus mental health staff can be what gets you back into the right mindset. Nobody can tackle everything and solve every problem without a little help from time to time, so there’s never any shame in talking to someone.

Some additional thoughts on finals prep:
https://www.usatoday.com/story/college/2014/12/08/25-crucial-study-tips-for-finals-week/37398951/ or