Good grades will follow good health

Just a few more days until the university sidewalks are packed with students, ready to storm the steps of the library. 50-pound backpacks and totes, hoodies accompanied with UGG slippers and a can of Red Bull in whatever hand or pocket is available will invade TCU. The time has come.

The time to pull all-nighters and fill your stomachs with caffeine and sucrose. But is the usual ritual of staying up late and poisoning your body with energy drinks worth it? Maybe. But it certainly is not the right way to get the grade you want.

Yes, this strategy of making your life a living hell during dead days is effective for some. I’ve done it many times. I’m in more than three organizations; I work at the Skiff, which takes up a lot of time; I do backstage work for one Theatre TCU show every semester; I take at least 15 hours every semester and have a double degree and a minor to take care of. Trust me, I am the epitome of a procrastinator.

However, last semester, I tried something a little different. I studied ahead of time, with a schedule to manage my time of what needs to be taken care of in order of importance. I kept my body hydrated with healthy drinks and ate the best meals I have had all year long, giving me the most energy I’ve ever had. I slept until 10 a.m. and went to bed as late as 12 a.m. The results? I made a 4.0.

Students need to find a way to organize themselves this semester. Time management is everything. Before I got to college, my parents drilled that phrase into my brain, and I thought I’d kill the next person who said it to me. But after two years of experience, I’ve finally learned that if I just slow down and take my time, it’ll all be OK and work out for the best. I found that I was calmer and more efficient when studying for the big test. I got better sleep, was in a better mood and felt more confident going in to take my exams.

Last minute cramming sessions and loads of Monster energy drinks are not going to help anyone. Everyone needs to take a step back, assess the workload and attack that $100 textbook that hasn’t been opened all semester long. Try it. If that doesn’t work, then go ahead and revert back to the old-fashioned stress technique. At least you’ll know what works best for you.

Students, including myself, need to focus on the important parts of finals week. Studying for a final isn’t the only thing we need to worry about. Good physical health and a sound mental state are key when traveling the path that will lead you down the road of success. It worked for me, and it can probably do the same for you.

Opinion editor Patricia Espinosa is a junior broadcast journalism major from Mission.