College Walk

Final exams can be a very stressful time of the year for college students. With the semester coming to an end and the holiday break approaching, it’s important that students mind their health through the rest of the semester. 

Here are six tips students should keep in mind for good health during finals: 



1) Sleep. Lack of sleep and pulling all-nighters may be common during college, especially during finals, but sleep loss can negatively affect your immune system. Try your best to get at least seven hours of sleep every night. 

2) Eat healthy. Keeping your diet healthy can be challenging during finals. Junk food and fast food are often the go-to options for students when they are stressed and in crunch time. Make the extra effort to choose fruits, veggies, nuts and other healthy snacks. Additionally, stay away from caffeine and soda to help with sleep.  

3) Keep up with hand hygiene. Personal hygiene and cleaning may take a down turn as students become engrossed in studying. Stress, lack of sleep and poor nutrition may impact the immune system increasing susceptibility to infection during this time. Students should wash their hands throughout the day to minimize a range of infectious illnesses. 

4) Keep workspace clean. A contaminated work area can result in cross-contamination and infection among healthy students. Students should consider using sanitizing wipes to clean desks and computers in public locations such as the library or dorms.   

5) Work out. Regular exercise is key to good health and stress reduction.  After sitting at a desk all day, consider a break at the gym or taking walks. Exercising will not only keep students healthy but help boost their mood and motivation. 

6) Take a breather. We know that passing final exams is very important to a student’s GPA. But don’t forget that we’re all humans and need to relax and de-stress on a regular basis. Remember to take breaks and enjoy yourself. It will help relieve some of the stress and keep you sane as you work hard studying for finals.

About Dr. Allison Aiello

Dr. Allison Aiello is an assistant professor of epidemiology at the University of Michigan. She has taught courses on social and life determinants of infectious diseases, antibacterial soap use and antimicrobial resistance, and the link between infections and chronic disease. Dr. Aiello believes hand hygiene is a key component of good hygiene practice in the home and community, and can produce significant benefits in terms of reducing the incidence of infection.