Stress during finals week
By: Alexandria DuPraw
College is already stressful dealing with homework, long distance relationships, and trying to maintain a normal social life. Then you add in final exams and it’s a disaster waiting to happen. Kierstin Marzan says, “Stressing would be an understatement considering I have this big project due instead of a final and I have to schedule my project around my two jobs.”
University level homework may be more challenging than anything you have ever faced before, and final exams can bring a whole new meaning to the term ‘crunch time’. Perhaps the most common study habit for students is pulling all-nighters studying for final exams or even learning the material at the last minute and of course the usual powering down caffeine. Let alone being dead tired you can only imagine the stress that is built up in your body when you are sitting down to take a test. You have learned four months worth of information and you have to regurgitate that information in about two hours for five different classes. All of that information learned form those five classes are sitting in one big mixing pot in your brain so things start conflicting. And on top of that, if the student thinks about how important the final exams are, they begin stressing even more. Anil Kundanani boldly states, “Finals determine your grade for the semester.” It makes sense students would stress a bit about finals because the final exam is the biggest chunk of their grade. But are we stressing about finals more than we should be?
The typical student starts off the semester thinking they are going to do things differently than the last semester. We set goals for ourselves. However, it seems to be the same goal every semester; don’t leave everything until the last minute. A very wise professor, John Heckathorn said, “It’s never to early to panic.” Kierstin’s says she tries to prioritize so she isn’t rushing to get anything done at the last minute. Yet, she is still stressing about her final project.
Michael Erikson, a professor in the psychology department at Hawaii Pacific University says, “Everything I do as a professor reflects my experience as a student.” He goes into more detail and says he tries to teach so that if he were a student in his own class, he wouldn’t be too annoyed. However he explains that he looks back now on his experience as a student and wishes he would have read more because he felt he missed out on a lot of learning opportunities. So when asked about finals he replied saying final exams are something that just has to happen, “It separates the students who come to learn from the ones who are just trying to get their degree.”
Final exams are testing students on everything they have learned over one semester. So it makes since to have finals be important but unless professors make the final exam count for a tad less, students will continue to stress knowing final exams regulate your final grade.