5 Tips For Keeping Yourself Together During Finals Week

5 Tips For Keeping Yourself Together During Finals Week

How to remain stress-free in college.

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This is it; it is the end of the semester. Coming back from Thanksgiving break can be an adjustment to get back in the swing of things but it has to be done. This is the most stressful time of the year. The key is to remain calm, take a deep breath, you can do this.

You may have a daily routine set for you so you can find room to fit all your classes and studying. But between homework, going to class, sleeping, eating and trying to have a social life, things can get pretty tough to balance, especially this time of year.

A lot of the time we have trouble remembering that your mental and physical help is above everything. And it is extremely easy to get stressed out. But have no fear, if you can fit some relaxing in between your school work, you're going to be a lot better off.

For more on these specific ways to de-stress, read on:

1. Sleep, sleep and sleep

It is important for college students to be getting seven to eight hours of sleep every night, according to Penn State University Health Center, sleeping will help recharge your body and will also help you retain information from your classes better. Yes, things can get hectic during the day and sometimes we all need a nap. If you have to do so, it is best not to take more than one 20-minute nap in a day; otherwise, you will be losing your possibility of a good night's rest.

2. Eat healthy

Yes, pizza and pasta are amazing but it's not good for you all the time. It is important to shop for healthy food and to get the right nutrients to help balance your diet. Fruit and vegetables will not hurt you! It is also important to stay hydrated with water or Gatorade, not just alcohol -- no matter how hard that may be to resist during this time of year. Eating fast food is OK a couple of times a month but it is vital that you do not eat anything but Big Macs. A good breakfast would be eggs, toast, a lean meat, and some coffee or juice. Try to resist snacking during the day, and if need be grab a granola bar or some fruit to get you to your next meal. For lunch and dinner, a chicken salad is optimal, but you can eat some sort of fish, or any type of meat, with some veggies on the side. If you eat healthily, you feel a lot better and be able to not feel even more worn down while studying.

3. Exercise!

There are so many ways to keep yourself in shape; you can run, walk, climb or lift weights and more! You should exercise around 20 minutes a day, according to the Mayo Clinic. You can just take a walk down the road and back or go for a bike ride. There are also plenty of things to do inside, such as using an elliptical or muscle building exercises. Even doing a couple of squats and push-ups a day will help you immensely. Also, a good way to relax is going to yoga. It will loosen your muscles and make them more flexible. Yoga is the perfect combo of relaxation and exercise. Doing any of this will help your mind and body and it will help you sleep better at night too.

4. Showering

I know what you're thinking, "does this really have to be on here?" Yes, it does. Between everything going on it almost seems impossible to do anything, but personal hygiene should be a top priority. Shower, brush your hair and brush your teeth. Your body will thank you, trust me. Plus, there is nothing like a bubble bath to let off some stress.

5. Stay social 

School should be the number one thing you are focused on while in college but it is not more important than your mental health. If you are extremely stressed out, it is OK to take a day off and just watch Netflix all day. Go out with your friends, join a club, read a book; do anything to help ease the worries of school. Call your mom, she still loves you and misses you more than you think. Even going to a dog shelter just to play with some animals can set your mind at ease. Your friends are going through the same thing as you, and misery loves company. You will get through this, you might just need a little help but everything is gonna be all right.

All of this will help you get through the hardest part of the semester or any time at that. Just remember that your mental health should stay above everything and give yourself a break from studying every once in a while. College is hard but your friends and family will make it easier. Just never stop working for your dream, it will all be worth it in the end.

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So, You Want To Be A Nurse?

You're going to find that nursing isn't really about the medicine or the assessments. Being a nurse is so much more than anything that you can learn in school. Textbooks can't teach you compassion and no amount of lecture time will teach you what it truly means to be a nurse.

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To the college freshman who just decided on nursing,

I know why you want to be a nurse.

Nurses are important. Nursing seems fun and exciting, and you don't think you'll ever be bored. The media glorifies navy blue scrubs and stethoscopes draped around your neck, and you can't go anywhere without hearing about the guaranteed job placement. You passed AP biology and can name every single bone in the human body. Blood, urine, feces, salvia -- you can handle all of it with a straight face. So, you think that's what being a nurse is all about, right? Wrong.

You can search but you won't find the true meaning of becoming a nurse until you are in the depths of nursing school and the only thing getting you through is knowing that in a few months, you'll be able to sign the letters "BSN" after your name...

You can know every nursing intervention, but you won't find the true meaning of nursing until you sit beside an elderly patient and know that nothing in this world can save her, and all there's left for you to do is hold her hand and keep her comfortable until she dies.

You'll hear that one of our biggest jobs is being an advocate for our patients, but you won't understand until one day, in the middle of your routine physical assessment, you find the hidden, multi-colored bruises on the 3-year-old that won't even look you in the eyes. Your heart will drop to your feet and you'll swear that you will not sleep until you know that he is safe.

You'll learn that we love people when they're vulnerable, but you won't learn that until you have to give a bed bath to the middle-aged man who just had a stroke and can't bathe himself. You'll try to hide how awkward you feel because you're young enough to be his child, but as you try to make him feel as comfortable as possible, you'll learn more about dignity at that moment than some people learn in an entire lifetime.

Every class will teach you about empathy, but you won't truly feel empathy until you have to care for your first prisoner in the hospital. The guards surrounding his room will scare the life out of you, and you'll spend your day knowing that he could've raped, murdered, or hurt people. But, you'll walk into that room, put your fears aside, and remind yourself that he is a human being still, and it's your job to care, regardless of what he did.

Each nurse you meet will beam with pride when they tell you that we've won "Most Trusted Profession" for seventeen years in a row, but you won't feel that trustworthy. In fact, you're going to feel like you know nothing sometimes. But when you have to hold the sobbing, single mother who just received a positive breast cancer diagnosis, you'll feel it. Amid her sobs of wondering what she will do with her kids and how she's ever going to pay for treatment, she will look at you like you have all of the answers that she needs, and you'll learn why we've won that award so many times.

You'll read on Facebook about the nurses who forget to eat and pee during their 12-hour shifts and swear that you won't forget about those things. But one day you'll leave the hospital after an entire shift of trying to get your dying patient to eat anything and you'll realize that you haven't had food since 6:30 A.M. and you, too, will be one of those nurses who put everything else above themselves.

Too often we think of nursing as the medicine and the procedures and the IV pumps. We think of the shots and the bedpans and the baths. We think all the lab values and the blood levels that we have to memorize. We think it's all about the organs and the diseases. We think of the hospitals and the weekends and the holidays that we have to miss.

But, you're going to find that nursing isn't really about the medicine or the assessments. Being a nurse is so much more than anything that you can learn in school. Textbooks can't teach you compassion, and no amount of lecture time will teach you what it truly means to be a nurse.

So, you think you want to be a nurse?

Go for it. Study. Cry. Learn everything. Stay up late. Miss out on things. Give it absolutely everything that you have.

Because I promise you that the decision to dedicate your life to saving others is worth every sleepless night, failed test, or bad day that you're going to encounter during these next four years. Just keep holding on.

Sincerely,

The nursing student with just one year left.

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Crossroads

Trying to figure out what to do in life.

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I never saw the crossroad

Where I could cross n' roam

Under an arch or dome. [1]

I just kept on the road

That was laid out,

Told to hold out

Till it pays out. [2]

Now I think its too late

Been walking too long,

Classes are all wrong

But masses too strong. [3]

So I follow with my head down

And chest up, succeeding cause

I'm too scared to fuck it up. [4]

But I have a need to lead,

Top-down and gears up

Leaving nothing to the dust.

But if I drop out, I'm a fuck up. [5]

Is it better to live and rust

Or drive till it busts

With trust you can find the way? [6]


[1] - Play on roam/Rome. Starts the poem by expressing the feeling of being trapped in my path in life. I felt like I never got the chance to figure out what I wanted to do.

[2] - I think a lot of it was I was following what people told me I should be doing.

[3] - I have a feeling that it is too late to change my course of life. I'm in a college for business, taking classes about business, and everyone around me wants to do business.

[4] - This is saying that even though I am not passionate about what I am doing I am still trying to succeed only because I'm scared of failing or quitting.

[5] - I want to leave and lead myself, do something where I'm not following but I don't know how to do that. This part starts a car reference, idk I've been watching Formula 1 on Netflix and its dope.

[6] - This is the question I've been asking myself, wondering if I should continue on with my path or follow my passion.

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