Life hacks: surviving stress


For most college students, finals are the most stressful time of the semester. A range of emotions can be experienced, and it can be difficult to calm down. Here are some hacks that range from stress to studying that can help any student through finals week.

Mary Phipps Rawr

Mary Phipps

For studying:

Chew gum while in class, studying and then taking the test. Be sure it”s all the samebrand of gum and flavor, otherwise this won”t have the same affect. United Kingdom psychologists have found that chewing gum helps with memory, specifically if you continue to chew the same type of gum. There are several potential explanations for this phenomena, and I think it”s pretty cool.

Another trick to help with retention is to write things out by hand as much as possible. Long forms of writing have shown to boost learning. Rewrite notes, and even write notes about notes to discern important information.

For sleeping:

Avoid bright screens, such as phones and computers, for at least 45 minutes before heading to bed. The lights trick your brain into thinking it”s daytime, so it”s important to wind down before trying to sleep. Also, it”s healthier.

Additionally, if you wake up in the middle of the night and don”t manage to fall back asleep within 20 minutes, get up. Do something to distract yourself. Reading a book is good, but try to do something involving your hands as well.

For stress:

Take a short break while studying and do an activity that entails more control. I suggest coloring in a coloring book or writing in a journal. These things are familiar and can help calm the brain and heart rate.

To alleviate even more stress, go for a walk. Research shows that physical activity releases endorphins in the brain, which helps you calm down and feel better.

Finally, focus on you as much as possible. Treat yourself to dinner or Starbucks, and try to remind yourself that all this stress will be worth it in the end.      

Mary Phipps can be reached at

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