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Staying Balanced at the End of the Year

by Elizabeth McCarthy

It can be hard to say goodbye to your residence hall, your friends, and your life on-campus at UT, but if you plan to leave campus for the holiday season it is a great time of year. And Knoxville will be awaiting your return!

But in the meantime, there are multiple things to remember when preparing to leave campus, such as what to pack, when to leave, and when to return. Especially with this year’s winter break lasting from December 9 through January 24, you may need to pack a little more before heading home than you usually do.

If you live in a residence hall on campus, you probably know you will be unable to access said hall during this break period. So what should you do before leaving town?

On-Campus Living

  • Unplug all electronics: fans, lights, chargers, etc.
  • Turn off the A/C unit
  • Take out your trash and clean out underneath your bed so you don’t miss anything!
  • Make sure all of your windows are shut
  • Empty your fridge of all perishables

Off-Campus Living

  • Follow all the same tips as above if you plan to leave Knoxville!
  • Coordinate with your roommates about utilities and bills, and if anyone will be staying in Knoxville at your place over the break
  • If you’re flying home and need to leave your car here, consider some long-term parking solutions

Be sure to pack all of the necessities for going home, too. If you’re heading home somewhere cold, pack all of your winter jackets and layers that you might want. Don’t forget any medicine, hygiene products, and travel gear.

Preparing for Finals

The most important things you can do for yourself during finals week are staying hydrated and getting enough sleep.

“My biggest tip for a freshman about to take their first college final is to start early,” Rachel Adams, a business analytics senior said. “Procrastination is something that can get the best of us, but when it comes to finals it’s the number one thing to try to avoid.”

Finding ways to stay active, stay positive, and stay in the moment are also helpful tips. Try to get exercise when you can, and try to focus on one thing at a time. If you’re trying to juggle studying for four classes at once, it’s going to get challenging; instead, take it one class, one Quizlet, or one email at a time.

Besides staying well-rested, hydrated, and starting early, making sure you’re in a good place in all of your classes before finals week is just as important. Take a look at your current grades, see if anything needs improving, and never be afraid to reach out to your professors! They truly are there to help you, and they want to see you succeed just as much as you, your family, and your friends do. You can visit the Vol Study Center for even more help during finals week.

Knoxville will be lonely without you, but campus will be here readily awaiting your return in January. Stay healthy and safe this holiday season, and go Vols!

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Elizabeth is a senior from Philadelphia, PA, majoring in public relations with a minor in business management. She has a passion for graphic design, social media and writing, and her favorite thing to do at UT is attending football games with her friends. She plans to move to Nashville after her graduation in May to pursue public relations and marketing.