Survival Mode

By Kristian Buckner | Nov 25, 2013

So I'm upon the end of my first semester in college, the part of the semester where we all are hypnotized by the things we need to memorize and are either fighting through it or breaking down and crying in the shower. No, really. I haven't written in a while, but I thought that I would update you guys on how it's going.

Well to be honest, it's going okay. I'm completely overwhelmed with everything, between work, school, and the holidays. It's all really stressful when everyone expects you to put your all into everything and the small moments you get to yourself to catch up and rest is very slim. There's something that I heard not too long ago that seems to be quite accurate; during this time of year, especially for college students the primitive brain kicks in. If you looked at your brain you could split the front and the back, the front is your thinking brain, the one that you normally use to think and make choices, and the back part of your brain is that part that controls your basic functions like breathing and your heart rate. Whenever we are put in really stressful situations our primitive brains kick in and we act on survival mode. We do things that have to get done, it's a standard motion to get through. It's an out of body experience. So while I can't help myself, nevertheless anyone else, with all the things that cause stress right now, I can offer some things that will help you get through the battle somewhat peacefully.

First off, make sure you get enough sleep. I know most people, myself included, tend to stay up all night studying or trying to get a paper done and lose tons of sleep. While we think that that may be necessary, it's really not. Get some sleep. Study and little bit every single day, cramming the night before really won't help you. In fact, cramming can actually make it worse, so can the lack of sleep. If you don't know the material that you've been learning this whole semester by the night before the exam, sleep is going to be the most helpful thing. Sleep helps rejuvenate your brain so when you have that test paper in front of you, you'll be able to think more clearly.

Food and lots of water is definitely important as well. I know that seems like a no brainer, but the amount of people who forget to eat healthily and drink water is tremendous. Drinking a healthy amount of water and eating brain-food, (like vegetables and fruit), will stimulate brain functioning and help you not only study better, but give you more energy to focus and get things done.

While water, food, and sleep may seem like basic survival mechanisms, it's more often than not the things that we abuse the most. So instead of over worrying about everything that needs to be done, take time to take care of yourself. Also, don't forget to take time to do something that you enjoy, whatever that may be. Take time to hang out with friends, or watch TV, or dance in your underwear in your room to your favorite music. Do something fun, because all work and no play may very well make you lose it.


To all my fellow college students taking exams, may the odds be ever in your favor. To everyone else, have a lovely Thanksgiving.