Green Pulse: Pre-finals rituals

Alecs Ongcal (Copy)Worrisome faces with knotted eyebrows and wrinkled foreheads of students start residing inside their favorite coffee shops, a venue that has become the intersection of home and school. A compromise of lifestyles fashioned through comfy attires, faithful hoodies, and tons of coffee cups is the usual go-to place in the unsought, prolonged week of agony – finals week.

Lasallians are known to have skill and expertise on the field of multi-tasking and procrastination. Stress and being under pressure is a daily toil experienced by the student population but sometimes cramming for finals is not the only option.

When asked about their pre-finals rituals Lasallians answered with diversely, with answers varying from silly doses of food intake, ordinary study habits and interesting out-of-this-world routines. Take a peek into what your fellow students do to prepare for the most dreaded and prepared week of each term.

Food Feast

Eating has always been seen as something necessary whenever difficult times are fast approaching. It is a means of acquiring the energy you need and can somehow affect your performance on a certain predetermined activity.

Eating her favorite foods such as junk foods, pizza and pasta is what Jeline Malasig (III, AB-LIM) usually does. The same goes for Jen  (IV, BS-CPE) who believes that eating her favorite food and at the same time studying helps her to be ready just in time for finals. This ritual is way different than the popular daily dose of caffeine. Bringing satisfaction to one’s heart is what it entails, unlike the coffee which just helps to pull an all-nighter.

For Kelly (II, BS-MKT), she prefers tea instead of the popular coffee. “I drink tea to keep my brain functioning during the dead hours of the night. Tea never makes a cranky zombie out of me in the mornings,” she explains.

According to the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, tea, specifically green tea has been discovered to boost memory and cognition. Research says, “[There is] an increase in the activation of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex-an area of the brain associated with working memory, which you need for problem solving and focus.” Moreover, it also speeds up the supply of blood to the brain and also burns fat by propelling metabolic rate. So try some tea – definitely one of the right “foods” before taking an exam.

Sophie (II, AB-ISJ) – she studies along with a cup of royal milk tea and egg pudding, while Chesca (III, BS-MKT) prefers to eat Mcdonald’s fries to motivate herself in studying. Another rare self-made ritual is Kyna’s (III, BS-MKT) case, which is a combination of Red Bull energy drink, gum and some great music.

Disciplined approach

As students, the main task is to do good in our academics but University life is mixed with exposure to frivolous endeavors. Fortunately, there are some who rise above the challenge of tempting distractions such as Vladimir (II, AE-FIN) “Do whatever needs to be done. Reserve all forms of entertainment until everything’s over.” Gino (IV, MR-MEM) says, “After every quiz, I make a reviewer. Consider it a ‘zip-file’ of the subject containing the coverage of the quiz. When finals come, I just whip out my reviewers [and] topics not covered by the quizzes.” For them, ample preparation and good study habits along with healthy self-restraint get the job done.

Having a disciplined approach means staying sharp and alert until the exams are over. It has been written that to achieve optimum performance, one should sustain a well-balanced study routine such as preparing reviewers or having your creatively-made flashcards. Moreover, one should always check his or her other daily requirements like food or other forms of nourishment, money, rest and other needs, to have a sense of time management and not to be hooked up with too much studying.

Interesting deviations

Among the wide array of insights and advice fellow schoolmates provided in preparation for the finals, food remedies seem to be the more popular choice. However, others find solace in more peculiar pre-final routines. Alex (IV, AB-PHL) states,  “I prepare for my finals by engaging in philosophical inquiries about the beauty and wonderment contained in my bedroom ceiling.” It seems philosophizing about the most trivial matters serves as his way of meditation and helps clear his mind for the test finals. A research conducted by the department of Psychological and Brain Sciences at the University of California found that mind-wandering, or the tendency to let the mind drift to menial thoughts correlates to decreased performance concerning intelligence and the capacity to use the working memory.  This implies that, although it seems better for the mind to wander about mundane matters, it is still best to possess the focus you need while preparing for the finals.

Risk-taking behavior  is common among teenagers and for Mico* (III, BS-MKT) – he simply trusts and puts great confidence on his ability to recall his lessons. “I don’t study anymore because I find finals as an ultimate test of what you have learned throughout the term and what has retained with you will keep you alive!”  But perhaps pushing one’s luck and relying on it this kind of agog confidence too much may prove to be generally detrimental.

While others may be frantic in wanting to absorb and review all their lessons, Jose (III, BS-MKT) would rather indulge himself in less serious activities, “Before finals week I usually party or go out with friends as much as I could.”  However, looking at the effects of alcohol in the brain compared to coffee, alcohol has the effect of making you think creatively or boosting the creative side of your brain, while coffee helps you to be alert, propelling the neurons to release adrenaline, which lets you think there is an emergency occurring. In turn, it makes a person feel hyped up to do any activity, such as studying for the finals instead of partying. It may be wiser not to play with fire especially in areas where grades are concerned.

Your call

There are many different rituals and routines students adhere to in order to overcome the immense stress finals week is famous for. From consuming that favorite comfort food, downing cups of coffee throughout the day or taking sips of tea, and even engaging in deep conversations with oneself, all these are basic supplementary activities Lasallians actually take in order to prep themselves up and boost confidence.

The outcome of finals itself speaks volumes on behalf of one’s habits and character, and whether or not certain pre-final rituals produce desirable results in a student’s test performance is a question that only the student can answer.

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