Photo by GRACE GRELAK
Final exams are fast approaching—only 14 days until they begin. This means there is only one week until what students commonly refer to as “hell week”—a stressful time used by many to prepare for their upcoming tests, practice their presentations and write their last-minute papers.
Stress is not just restricted to this time, but it typically gets worse for students as there are final assignments and last chances to improve grades.
“In regards to finals, I find my most stress the weekend before—knowing I have multiple huge exams that will majorly affect my final grade in multiple classes all within a few days is stressful,” said Bailey Frank (’21).
There are many resources on campus available to all students to aid in their classes. The Center of Student Opportunity is a place to go to find a tutor for support in addition to speaking with professors during their office hours.
The Counseling and Wellness Center is also a great place for students go when they are feeling overwhelmed. They are able to provide extra support through developing strategies at an appointment according to David Wier, a counselor at the Health and Wellness Center.
During this time of year, it is also important to get enough Vitamin D which is known as the “sunshine vitamin.” In the winter, there is less sunlight which leads to a decreased amount on exposure and lowered energy and depressed moods, according to Wier. Vitamin D lamps are a way to combat this which can be bought online or tried in the counseling center.
Having a plan on how to go into finals makes it easier to prioritize and focus on what is coming up.
“I prioritize my classes based upon their difficulty and when the final exam is in the week. I normally map this out the week before finals, so I know what I need to get done. I also make sure I’m taking care of my mental and physical health,” said Holly Fries (’20).
There are other ways to lower stress such as what comes through physical exercise. There are also events coming up including Kitty Fun Night in the Rec Center and therapy dogs in the library.
Staying in contact with friends and family is important to continue especially if it is a part of a student’s daily routine. It can provide not only a break from studying, but it can be used a as a form of stress relief.
“Ask yourself if you’re making time for your chosen stress relief activities. Life is about balance. You are more than just a student,” said Weir.
Additionally, when students start to focus solely on school the care for themselves start to slip such as by less sleep and skipping meals. This can have a poor effect on the students’ metal health as well.
“As you get closer to exams and “crunch time,” remember that some self-care is better than no self-care,” said Wier.
Wier advises to make time for sleep, hobbies and seeing friends—even for a short period of time. It is important to have breaks as well as a schedule that can be flexible with the changes within the day.
“I manage my stress by taking study breaks every couple of hours, hanging out with friends — even if it’s only for a few minutes — and simply giving myself a small time to look at my phone in order to let my brain relax,” said Frank.
Frank also places a bigger emphasis on time management to get through the stress of finals in addition to caffeine. Scheduling her day in her planner and putting up reminders and inspirational quotes to help her get through the time.
It is also important to start planning as soon as possible. This way there is time and nothing that comes out of nowhere.
“My biggest tip is to start getting ready for finals now. Figure out when all of your exams are and put it on your calendar. Make sure that you are planning an adequate amount of time to study and take care of yourself,” said Fries.
“Just remember that after it’s all done and over, your brain will get a nice break for a few weeks!” said Frank.