Finals Week Recess

By Jet Mendes on May 7, 2017

It’s finals week. Time to buckle down for last minute studying, late night and early morning thrashing amongst endless pages of Google Docs, and whatever other maniac kinds of activities you find yourself partaking in to finish that last stretch of work. As a freshman in college, I am just seeing how everyone reacts to this week.

People are celebrating completed tests with a night of drinking, or isolating themselves in their rooms for three days before a macroeconomics exam, but I noticed a salient decrease in the number of people out exercising. Where did the morning crew from the weight room go? What happened to the kids always playing pickup soccer on the turf? It seems as though many of us have retreated to the confines of our dorms, apartments, and libraries, for hours on end of excruciating studying.

And I’m here to say keep playing! Well, let me explain. Obviously, it is important to be prepared for our exams, give ourselves time to edit creative writing papers, etc., but when we demobilize ourselves for an entire week, reallocating all of our time to staring at computer screens and bottoms of Burnett’s bottles, we are only making the work we need to accomplish that much more strenuous.

We cannot forgo the time we often give ourselves to go to the gym, go for a run, or play basketball because it is this kind of play that provides us a unique kind of therapy. By exercising, we allow ourselves to clear our mind and find ourselves in a place that is much more balanced throughout the day. Our body and mind function at a higher quality when we can clear ourselves like this when stress levels become reduced.

Give yourself the time, sometime during your day, to get 30-60 minutes of exercise for much better clarity before hitting the books. I oftentimes become frustrated somewhere in between my studying or in the midst of writer’s block. That is when I know I need to give myself a break in between to get a lift and a steam in and refresh myself.

It is incredibly important for our physical, emotional, and cognitive well-being to work out during this time of high stress and long sedentary periods. Just as it is all other times. So, for your own good, go play for a bit.

Good luck to all of you this week!

I'm a Freshman Acting Major at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. I have a passion for performing and telling stories, and when I'm not going to class, working out, writing, or eating, I am almost always coasting through the streets of Southern California. Pike Nation. Ball is Life.

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