The end of the semester is finally here, and even if classes have yet to be perfected, the art of procrastination certainly has. Like a true procrastinator, papers, projects and finals have been put off to study for the week they are due. There may be one, two, maybe even three all nighters and before we know it we will be dashing through snow, laughing all the way and singing “tis the season to be jolly.”
Then it hits. The inevitable finals week flu bug. Runny noses start to resemble Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer, pounding heads make it impossible to focus on the presentation we are preparing and forget about having the thought process to function well enough to write a paper. It would be nice to guzzle down mom’s chicken noodle soup, crawl into bed and snooze away the flu. With less than a week left, our perfected art of procrastination has now left us singing “tis the season to be stressing.”
Why do we start to feel sluggish and under the weather the moment schedules require every ounce of energy we have in order to complete the last week of the semester? Assistant Director of Wellness and Marketing Jodi Brawley explained why students have a tendency to feel ill during the final weeks of the semester.
“During finals week students are typically changing their routine, maybe not getting enough sleep or eating healthy,” Brawley explained. “These changes and the fatigue that comes with them can cause an increase in general illness.”
It would be nice if suddenly there was a technological advancement or Theraflu innovation that would allow one to become 100 percent better at the snap of their fingers. Unfortunately it is not this easy, though overcoming the finals flu bug can be done. After all, we did happen to make it out of dead week alive, right?
It may come as no surprise how important it is to drink lots of fluids, have a healthy diet and get enough rest in order to refrain from getting sick. At times this can be easier said than done. Brawley recommends taking study breaks and not cramming for finals so there is a sufficient amount of time to study without feeling pressured. Use these study breaks to walk around, drink water and give the brain a break so it is not overworked.
“Get seven to nine hours of sleep every night,” Brawley advised. “Try to go to bed and get up the same time each day to establish a healthy sleep routine. Your sleeping environment should be cool, not cold, dark and quiet.”
She also recommends consuming foods high in Zinc and Vitamin C to help eliminate and reduce any symptoms and effects from becoming sick. Also incorporate foods rich in antioxidants along with plenty of water. These will help reduce inflammation in the body and boost the immune system. Be sure to wash hands throughout the day and even keep hand sanitizer nearby as this is one of the biggest ways to prevent the spread of bacteria and infection.
If the finals flu bug has already had its way, know that Emergen-C can be a college student’s best friend during finals and it is okay to substitute Campbell’s for mom’s homemade chicken noodle soup. Besides, there are 30 test-free days of snoozing coming our way.