Long hours at the library, stress eating and flash cards galore; welcome to 2017 finals week.
As the semester comes to a close, many college students are familiar with the stress that finals week brings.
“I have projects as well as final exams. Trying to balance studying while working on projects is stressful,” said first-year Caroline Hentz.
Hentz said finals week is, “better than I expected, it’s not as stressful as I was expecting it to be. I was expecting certain types of finals from each class, and [professors] do what they will think will test their students instead of following some school-wide regulation.”
Other students, such as junior Meredith Souza find finals week to be very stressful.
“I’m a double major so trying to juggle them both is hard,” said Souza.
As for study methods, Souza said she uses index cards, study sheets and rewriting her notes.
Souza said, “I’m always in the library at least two hours a day. I kind of make every week like finals week, where I know I need to be on top of my game.”
Contrarily, athletic training major Sabrina Budington said she does not feel more stressed during finals week.
“I had so much more work during the school year compared to now and I don’t have any more assignments due.”
Several students also expressed concerns on how finals affect their final grades.
Hentz said something that stresses her out particularly during finals week is “the stress of trying to keep my [grade point average] up.”
Likewise, KSC student Hunter Cinq-Mars said, “For a lot of classes you’re getting a final that is worth 30 percent of the course, it really is a heavy burden.”
On the other hand, Budington said that she has good grades right now, so it is not as stressful for her.
KSC’s Assistant Director for Outreach in the Counseling Center, Forrest Seymour said, “The idea of a test can trigger anxiety.”
Seymour said, “The fact that [students] are being tested, regardless how well they know the material, can really trigger the anxiety.”
Each student manages their stress in a different way.
Some students like Cinq-Mars said they go to the gym to deal with stress, while other students like Souza and Hentz said they listen to music.
One way to reduce stress is to self-coach and talk yourself through things.
Seymour said an example of this would be to say to yourself, “I’ve done all the studying I can do,” and reminding ourselves that we have taken tests before and we have done okay.
Seymour also said the human body’s ability to retain information when it is tired decreases.
“I can say, with a good deal of confidence, that staying up all night in order to try and observe more information is probably not an effective strategy.”
While studying for finals, Seymour said he suggests students get, “plenty of rest, eat well and get some exercise. All of these things suffer when people have to cram for exams and taking care of those things can reduce stress.”
Izzy Harris can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org