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Classes are over, and now a new era is opening up:  f i n a l s.

Honestly, I would feel much better if finals and classes wrapped up at the same time. It’s really weird, being done with classes, but you still cannot relax yet because you have to study for finals and you just cannot seem to rest decently enough. You can relax and de-stress, but at the same time, you are all stressed out because “ohmygod it’s coming and I already forgot what line integral is what am I supposed to do now!!!”

It’s important to spend Reading Days taking care of yourself, honestly, because without both physical and mental health, it is very easy to find yourself burning both ends of the candle and fussing over the littlest things. Therefore, I am going to share some of the things I do to de-stress. Remember, you can always do your own things at your own time. My list is just several things I found useful, and would love to share them with all of you.

1. Knitting

If you have not learned how to knit yet, maybe it is time to do so! Honestly, I was very stressed out during the winter break, and I started to pick up knitting. I became rather obsessed with it. Knitting, to me, really feels like a form of therapy. You pick up your needles and your yarn, and you start weaving them together, following different types of patterns to create different types of items. You can also knit while watching Netflix, for example. It’s a great way to de-stress. Embroidery also does the trick. After all, the amazing feeling you get from stabbing something multiple times is very satisfying. Just remember to watch the needles!

2. Sleeping

If knitting is not in your wheelhouse, how about sleeping? I know many people like to do this in their free time (I am very proud to say that I am one of them). If you have not been sleeping enough (at least 7 hours a day), it can take a toll on your body. Remember to take care of yourself! There is not much to say, actually, because I think all of you know the importance of sleeping.

3. Cross-country skiing!

Honestly. I have never gone cross-country skiing before. There was no snow in Vietnam. So witnessing all the snow here is kind of a new thing. But maybe it’s too late for cross-country skiing now, because seemingly the snow here is already melting, leaving behind large puddles of water blocking all kinds of doors and exits (an unfortunate event, but what can you do?).

But if you have the chance to (and if weather permits, and if the snow is thick enough), I heard that going cross-country skiing can be really fun. Maybe it can take your mind off the dreadful exam reviews or the half-written essays, clearing your brain up to leave room for new and creative ideas! Just try not to crash into trees.

4. Writing

It doesn’t have to be essays. Just write! Your thoughts during the day. A diary entry. A story for a character that you just came up with. A fanfiction for your favourite character even (I just finished watching Captain Marvel and am currently very obsessed with Yon-Rogg right now so I will be writing about him A LOT on my persona media). Or maybe compose a song.

I find writing constantly helps a lot with freeing up spaces in my mind that I desperately need for finals, and I really do have a tendency to spiral out of the academic path whenever finals/exams are near. Maybe it’s a way I can liberate my mind, even just for a bit.

5. Drawing, or anything artistic really

If you are not good with art, it’s fine. But everyone is born with the ability to create lines and curves with pencils and papers. Just doodle. Let your brain guide your hands, see what it can do. The possibilities are unlimited. You can be the next Picasso, for all you know. Personally, I am more of a Monet but you know, to each his own. You can also dance, or jam out to music.

I was in the room today, listening to Bboom Bboom by Momoland while just jamming out, throwing my arms and legs up and down and about, and honestly, I felt so free. Like a bird. Sometimes you just gotta do the craziest thing to liberate yourself from the rules and guidelines you try to adhere to.

How about cooking? Nothing is better than the smell of beef stew, or a good dish of spaghetti.

6. Cleaning your room

Refer to my latest blog post, Tidying up with Chi Nguyen! Things you need to know about cleaning up a dorm room. Super effective for me. And I hope it will help you guys (in some ways) as well. I know that I have not covered much ground, but those are the most basic things I can think of off the top of my head, to be completely honest.

7. Going downtown

Meet new people. Say hello to their dogs. Grab a bagel. Buy some yarn. Read some books. There are so many things you can do in downtown Northfield. A day away from the campus will definitely break you out of your stress and help you get back on your feet. Bring a few friends with you. Share the experience together.

Remember, your health should always come first. Stay fresh, healthy, and prepared. Good luck with finals!

Chi is a self-proclaimed insomniac freshman zombie that always complain about not getting enough sleep, even though she deliberately goes to bed at 2am and wakes up spontaneously at 6am thanks to her roommate’s closet door. She constantly talks (obsessively) about how much she yearns to major in Chemistry and German, yet she’s starting to eye the awesome dark art that is called Geology with much desire. Meet the other bloggers!