Unhealthy Habits Affect Grades

As finals week rolls around, many students struggle with maintaining good physical and mental health. So what’s wrong with what students are doing now and how can they perform best on the finals?

“What affects student health is how the student chooses to deal with the stress; even though they may lose sleep some nights, they need to take naps and sleep on the weekend when they can, and they can choose to maintain proper nutrition which is really huge,” school nurse Julia Yano said.

Yano has been working at BVN for five years and has ideas of what works best for students while testing.

“What really helps with stress while testing are stress balls or something to squeeze. If you’re writing with one hand, squeeze the heck out of an object with the other. Stress creates energy within you and if you’re sitting at a desk, there is no better way to discharge that energy than squeezing something,” Yano said.

How you act before testing, however, can be more important than how you deal with stress during testing. Yano cannot emphasise more importance than the health preparation before the test.

“Get your sleep. you will do better on the test the next morning if your are rested than if you are not well rested, regardless of your preparations… Staying up late studying is worse than going to bed early and studying less,” Yano said.

This poses a challenge for some students.

“I guess I didn’t really study much throughout the year, so I have to study a lot this weekend [before finals],” sophomore Jonah Pellegrino said. “If I bust through this last week, I can sleep all I want to over winter break.”

In trying to get their grades up and because of a lack of sleep, students put the health of others at risk as well.

“I’ve been sick the past week, but it’s the week before finals; you just can’t miss it if you want to do well, junior Jacob Springer said.

The Kansas Department of Health states that children should not be at school with a fever of 100, yet many students, like Springer, feel it necessary to finish the semester fully.

“Everyone of you [students] think that getting your little class assignment done is better than risking your health and other people’s health too. It’s not. If you’re sick, your sick. You can either come into school and delay your healing process, and you won’t even do as good of a job on your assignment, or you can stay home and work something out with you teacher,” Yano said.

Yano has a few more tips on how to do better on finals.

“Don’t try anything during finals you have not tried before. Finals are not the time for surprises,” Yano said.

Some of these surprises can be caused by something that appears simple, such as caffeine.

“I had a girl who came in after drinking a monster energy drink who was impaired. By that time, it’s in your system theres nothing you can do except cross your fingers. If you’re not used to it, now is not the time experiment,” Yano said.

While this event did not happen during finals, another worse experience occurred during a finals test.
“I had a student once who had a seizure because he took someone else’s adderall and he wasn’t supposed to be on it during finals,” Yano said.

The main message: stay healthy. If you follow these guidelines, Yano assures that you will do better on finals than if you do not.