The Scarlet & Black

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The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

How to survive the last week of school

Ah, finals week—a frenzy of sleepless nights, panicked days and forgotten obligations. With all the insanity that usually surrounds finals week, it is easy to forget about little things like decent nutrition. My diet at the end of last semester consisted of Red Bull, Snickers, and Brown Sugar Cinnamon Pop-Tarts. Remarkably, I’ve been told that this isn’t the best way to survive finals week. In fact, eating decent food can actually help you survive the next seven days.

Let’s say you’re relatively swamped, but you can still make it to the dining hall for a meal or two. If you’re greeting the morning from the wrong side, i.e. the “oh shit, is that the sunrise?” side, take 15 minutes to go to the dining hall for breakfast. Arrive at seven in the morning (you’re awake anyway) and the eggs-to-order line will be negligible. Get scrambled eggs with cheese, your favorite vegetables, and ideally some form of meat. Protein is key when it comes to surviving the morning. If you can’t stomach the thought of eggs after an all-nighter, make yourself oatmeal instead and throw in some whey protein. Raspberries from the waffle bar make a nice addition, as does cinnamon from the vegan line. Drink coffee or tea instead of taking caffeine pills—those suckers mess you up. I speak from experience.

At dinner, grab yourself a not-too-bruised apple— Braeburn, Fuji, and Gala are best —and a hunk of peanut butter. Meat is good, but if you want something a little more comforting, I recommend vegetables. Take a plate full of broccoli or cauliflower and sprinkle liberally with cheddar cheese from the salad bar. If you can find bacon bits, those are always a nice addition. Microwave for at least a minute, or until the cheese has melted all over the veggies. Combine protein and caffeine, by making yourself a root beer float, or fill a glass partway with vanilla, chocolate, or mocha ice cream and top it off with coffee.

Some poor souls, though, don’t even have time to go to the dining hall and must subsist on Out Takes alone. Get caffeinated beverages at breakfast and dinner, but for your own sake get a carton of milk with lunch. Take a study break to walk to McNally’s and buy yourself a big jar of dry or honey-roasted peanuts to snack on and a jug of orange juice (total cost: approximately five dollars) to ward off illness. Plus the OJ will be a useful mixer when you finish all your finals. Believe it or not, you really do study better when eating peanuts than you do when eating Cheetos—you also avoid grimy orange fingerprints on your papers. If you’re sick of your regular bagel and cream cheese, spread some jarred pasta sauce on a toasted bagel, cover it with cheese and then microwave it to make a pizza bagel.

Most importantly: I know they say Grinnell has “No Limits,” but really, don’t ever drink more than five cans of Red Bull in one day., Ever!

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