How to stay in tip top shape during finals week


By Sam Gasnick, Contributor


Finals week can be one of the most stressful times of the year for students. Marcia Adler, from UNO Health Services, advises students to stay healthy during finals week to do well on exams. 



“”Gear down a little bit,” Adler said.

Cramming for tests isn’t the answer. 

“There is not a shred of evidence that validates doing all nighters for a class that you didn’t do any work for during an entire semester,” Adler said. “You would be better off getting a good night’s sleep.” 

Sleep is individual specific, Adler said. Some people can get by with little sleep during finals while others need more. 


Being well-rested isn’t the only key to doing well. Eating well is also a key factor.

“Finals week is not the time to go into your major diet so that you’re thin when you go home to see your family,” Adler said. 

Eating well is all about portions, Adlers said. 

Fruits and vegetables should make up the majority of the meal. Meat should be the size of a deck of cards. Carbohydrates should be eaten last. 

Students should avoid eating foods high in fat, like chips and pizza. These foods take a lot of energy for the body to burn off. 

Staying healthy means staying hydrated, too. Students should drink healthy fluids, like water, fruit juice and Gatorade. Hydration will kick the sleepy feeling. Alcohol and fluids with caffeine should be avoided.


Exercise is another key component. Don’t sit and study non-stop. Break it up into 30 or 60 minute increments, Adler said. 

“If people study really hard for an hour, they need to take a break for 10 minutes and go walk around,” Adler said. “Do something that erases your heart rate a little bit and go back and study for another hour.”

Students suffering from test anxiety may feel added stress. UNO’s Counseling Center can provide students with powerful test taking strategies to ease the worry. 


Stress can have a serious impact on students. 

“This is the time to put your eye on the prize, which is your education,” Adler said. 

Stress occurs when value systems get “tangled,” Adler said. Students should think of studying as a job.


Senior Jonathan Heida has his finals routine down. Heida pays attention during class and avoids pulling all nighters

“I try to get the most sleep that I can,” Heida said. 

Heida avoids studying too far in advance. 

“I feel like I would forget information that I need to know,” Heida said. “I perform better when there is pressure.”