It’s that awful time of year that university students dread. While the finish line seems near, the hurdles of final exams and assignments stand between you and watching Maury Povich reruns all day.
It’s also the time that students realize they really should open their books and do the readings they’ve neglected since midterms.
Dreading the month of December is common practice for most university students because it forces them to play an involuntary game of Survivor. You may not win a million dollars in the end, but these tips will help you become survive your finals.
This is their time to outwit, outlast, and outplay other students and the administration to survive the library.
First, they must outwit the library security by hiding their snacks in their book bags. But while they may feel that they’ve outsmarted the administration, they may be fooling themselves based on the snacks they’ve packed.
Before they know it, that freshman-fifteen, which is no longer exclusive to first year students, that they burned off in the gym is all coming back to them because of their exam time eating habits.
Victoria Lee, 21is a University of Toronto student studying for her finals in the early morning hours. She says that she spends countless hours in the library during exam time, and countless coins in its surrounding vending machines.
“I eat way too much junk food from the vending machine, like Cheetos and Oh Henry’s,” says Lee.
She agrees this is not the best habit she’s picked up while in university but one that she feels is unavoidable given her schedule.
According to nutritionist, Susan Fyshe, this may be a self fulfilling prophecy and there are ways to eat healthy while studying, but it requires some preparation.
Her office is based in West-Toronto, where she counsels many young people about their eating habits.
She says eating junk, especially late at night makes no positive contributions to one’s health.
“Fruits and veggies, seeds, nuts, and yogurt are all great alternatives to eating junk food,” says Fyshe.
The benefits do not just extend to your health. She says snacks like frozen fruit will help you stay awake longer. This means there will be less frequent runs to Tim Hortons to stock up on black coffee.
Next in the game of Ultimate Library Survivor is the outlast part.
Many university libraries across the city, including the library at the University of Toronto Scarborough campus, are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Surprisingly many students are actually using every hour they can to study.
Students like Victoria Lee, spend countless hours catching up on work and gossip. It’s the latter part that often causes the controversy.
Lee says in her experience studying in the university library, the stress of exams often causes mild-mannered students to lose their temper over external distractions.
Losing focus is easy with so many distractions. Lee says, some distractions are self inflicted (and silent), like checking Facebook every five minutes, but others come without choice. It’s those people in the library, constantly talking or being noisy that pushed stressed students over the edge.
“Sometimes people just don’t know when to shut up and when it is inappropriate to speak,” says Lee. “It’s those times that just getting out of that setting helps, because it avoids conflict in a room full of stressed-out people.”
Lee says that she too has gotten close to the point of erupting on noisy students but thinks she has a solution to freaking out on other students.
“Whenever I feel like I just can’t take the people around me in the library I just get up and go for a walk,” says Lee. “You’re not going to be any more productive if you yell at someone.”
She suggests basic library etiquette includes picking up your garbage, not being excessively loud in typing, flipping pages, or listening to your iPod, and especially mastering your whispering.
So fear not university students, surviving exams is not impossible. By eating healthy and keeping your cool, you too can get through the next two weeks without 15 extra pounds and a police record.