Tips for a Less Stressful End of Semester

Tips For A Less Stressful End-of-Semester

What I have found helps me stay motivated in between Thanksgiving and Christmas

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After Thanksgiving, there are only a few weeks before the end of the semester. All of a sudden all the work and the busy schedule you have for finals comes rushing to your mind. During such a busy time of year with finals and the holiday season approaching, it is important to stay on top of things and push through. Here are some tips I have found help me in this busy stretch.

Christmas shop early

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When Thanksgiving is over, a college student will often realize that there are only a few weeks before winter break and the holiday celebration. One of the hardest things about being away at college during the holiday season is figuring out how to fit in buying gifts for all the family and friends on your list. That is why I start shopping as early as possible and continue to online shop on Cyber Monday and the rest of the semester to get as many gifts bought before the stressful finals week begins. That way most (or all) my gifts can be done, and I can focus on finals. Also, I can always go shopping for the rest of my list the few days at home before Christmas.

Force yourself to go to quiet study spaces

As much as I love spending time in my dorm room with my roommates or cozying up on my bed, I always force myself to go to a quiet study space when I know that I need to get work done. Try to fit in an hour every day during busy times to set aside specifically for focused, crunch time work.

Do a little at a time 

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Procrastination is such a struggle. But, if you try to schedule small chunks of work each day, finishing up a project or studying for a test will be a lot more doable with so much happening this time of year. Even getting ahead for half an hour on a project that isn't due the next day or two will help you get along faster.

Stay clean and organized

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Try to take some time to organize or clean your dorm room. A clean room will not only clear your head for studying and cramming for finals, but it also will help you prepare for figuring out what you will need to throw away, switch out, bring home, or keep at school when you pack for winter break.

Use your planner

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Use your planner or make a schedule/to do list to plan out the rest of the semester. What assignments do you need to finish up? When are textbook rentals due back? When are your exams? What meetings do you have to attend? Keep track of everything and space out your time so you won't have too much in one day.

Make flashcards as you go

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As you finish up the chapters and sections of your classes, make flashcards or highlight important things in your notes as you go, that way when finals week comes around you will have less to do.

Take advantage of Christmas sales

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Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and other sales during this season are perfect for broke college students who need to buy gifts or even things for yourself. Don't forget that it is also a great opportunity to stock up on things for your room when stores like CVS or Walgreens have sales on tissues, toiletries, and even food.

Keep yourself healthy

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Finals season also happens to be sick season. Yay, so convenient! Make sure to be disinfecting, exercising, eating healthy, and keeping away from any source of germs. The last thing anyone wants is a cold during the stressful last weeks or a Christmas cold!

Use apps or shortcuts to help study

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Look up websites to help you study or apps like Quizlet. Look up Youtube videos. Make up acronyms or tricks for learning things. Just simply writing or reading to study gets old and your brain will appreciate doing something different.

Enjoy the holiday season as much as possible

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Just because of finals, do not skip out on the fun holiday traditions or celebrations on campus, decorating your room, planning secret santa with roommates, listening to carols while you work, or allowing yourself to watch a Christmas movie once and awhile. It is hard to fit in as much holiday celebrating in such a short time...so take advantage of it and don't let it go by too quickly.

Good luck to all the students pushing through the rest of the semester. It seems like a lot now, but before we know it, we will be home with friends and families enjoying the holidays!

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6 Major Health Benefits Of A Crazy Road Trip

Take that sick road trip you've been wanting to go on, it's actually super good for your health.

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We all have a crazy adventure planned, that we live out solely through our Pinterest boards. It wasn't until recently, when I myself took the trip of a lifetime with two of my best friends, that I realized how good road trips can actually be for both your mind AND body.

Driving = Hippocampus Expansion

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Driving, especially long distances, helps your brain with spatial reasoning. A Sunny Afternoon explains that driving actually helps this region of the brain make calculations and increases brain power. Kinda like sudoku... but on wheels.

New places, faces and experiences = MENTAL WORKOUT

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Think of all the cool things you will see, the hundreds of different people you could meet, and the awesome places you'll explore. This overload of new information to process will help your brain build its capacity.

NATURE!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Fresh air and sunshine is the key to bettering your mind, which leads to bettering your body. Not only do your lungs get a break from pollution-filled air, but the sun boosts the Vitamin D levels in your body to put you in a better mood.

Good company = good mood.

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Choose your travel buddies wisely. Yes, you'll be stuck in the car with them for a LONG period of time, but they also can help with your mental health. The happier you are and the more you laugh, the bigger boost your serotonin levels will get.

You (most likely) will get a lot of good exercise.

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OK, hear me out... I know being cooped up in the car on a road trip isn't very good exercise. It's so important to pick a place that features some sort of physical aspect (I just took a hiking trip to a few national parks in Utah) so you can stretch those legs.

Your mind will thank you for finally going tech-free.

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We're all obsessed with our phones (you are... admit it). Going on a road trip is the perfect way to go unplugged and give your eyes/mind a rest. Less smartphone/email/social media time means less stress.

If you need some backup for convincing your parents to let you go on a road trip, show them this article. You're welcome and travel safe!!!

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Why You Should Go To The Barre

Keep your head high and your heels even higher!

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After going back and forth trying to decide if I wanted to try a barre class, last month I finally decided to. And let me tell you, it is one of the best decisions I have made for not only myself but my body! I tried my first class at Barre N9ne in Andover, Massachusetts (with multiple location in Woburn, Somerville, and Danvers), and I truly don't think I could have found a better studio. From the moment you walk into the studio there is a great vibe and the instructors are so informative and caring. If you are in the area, I highly recommend Barre N9ne!

It Is A Full Hour To Yourself

My favorite part of barre is it is an hour to myself. No phone, no distractions, just working to improve myself with each set. When I go to the gym whether I am lifting weights or running on the treadmill at some point I am on my phone responding to a text or changing the song I am listening to. During barre, I don't even think about who texted me or what email I have to respond to. It is complete me time.

The BEST Core Workout

During barre, your core is engaged the entire time. Then, at the end of the workout there is 5-7 minutes of actual core workouts. This makes it one of the best core workouts because instead of just focusing on your core for a few minutes, you are engaging it throughout the class and then additionally at the end.

You Will Gain Strength and Definition 

A typical barre class is a full body workout and over time you will gain strength and see definition. It takes about 5 classes to start seeing results. By strengthening each muscle group, you are not only gaining definition you are also strengthening all muscles (even the ones that are often underused and underdeveloped).

You Will Become More Flexible 

After each muscle group worked on, you will stretch. This is something that is often overlooked because people don't want to take the time to stretch during a workout and save it until the end, or even not at all. The amount of stretching done in a barre class will improve your range of motion and help to reduce any risk of injuries.

Mind Body Connection

During class you will often hear your instructor say to "focus on the mind body connection". But, what is it? Well, when you focus your attention on the muscle you are working, you tend to work harder and more effectively. This then gives you faster results. When you then focus on that muscle group and stop focusing on all the background noise of your stressful day, or what you have to do after class, or that big test next week, you are really able to focus in and have the best workout.

Your Muscles Will Shake (In A Good Way)

Barre utilizes micro movements. Meaning, since you preform many reps of the same movement involving specific muscles in barre, you are then working your muscles to exhaustion. When your muscles are exhausted, they start to shake. If you aren't shaking, work harder!

Through every pulse, squeeze, and tuck enjoy your time during barre. I hope you give barre classes a try because I know I don't regret it and I know you won't either.

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