Dealing with stress during finals week
Published: Sunday, December 2, 2012
Updated: Sunday, December 2, 2012 18:12
It is that time of year again: the dreaded week of finals.
Obviously, stress is a major issue right now for many college students, especially first-year students who are anticipating their first college exams.
Stress is a problem for various reasons. It has both emotional and physical health symptoms that make it difficult to concentrate on studies.
You may thinking to yourself, what exactly is stress and how do I know if I am suffering from it?
According to the Merriam Webster Dictionary stress is defined as “a physical, chemical or emotional factor that causes bodily or mental tension and may be a factor in disease causation.”
As first-year students, many are anxious about taking exams at a university level.
Although high schools have exams too, college exams are quite different.
Especially at such an academic driven university like SMU, this next week brings about tremendous amounts of anxiety. Fear not!
There are plenty of ways to ease your study time and reduce stress.
A few tips to help shut out the world and help you concentrate on studying are:
1.Take advantage of study options on campus.
There are so many different places to study and many different organization hold “study parties” this week.
For example, Multicultural Student Affairs offers a “Relieve your Stress Before the Test” event on Monday.
This event gives you the opportunity to study in the SAMSA suite and relieve stress by playing cards, board and video games.
Free food is another incentive to join in on this fun study event.
2. Find time to fit in exercise.
Working out is not just a great way to relieve stress, it also gives you a ton of adrenaline which will result in a natural rush so you don’t have to drink too much caffeine during finals week.
3. Make a schedule and stick to it.
Savannah Stephens, a junior majoring in history and communication studies, said she likes to, “Map out a plan before hand and try to adhere to that.” Stephens also likes to take naps throughout this stressful week.
Caleb Pool, a mechanical engineering student, also thinks that planning out exactly how to tackle your exams is a great way to reduce a lot of built up stress.
“Know your final exam schedule before hand, so you can take advantage of reading days and avoid all the all-nighters,” Pool said.
4. Don’t forget to get enough shut-eye.
We all know how ineffective staying up all night in Fondren can be.
Try to start studying earlier in the week or in the mornings so you can go to bed at a decent hour and actually retain the information you are cramming for exams.
5. Give yourself a break.
Student Lila Friedlander said she likes to make sure “to take a lot of short breaks.”
These mental breathers will help you be able to concentrate better on the material you are studying for long periods of time.
If you are looking over the same thing for hours at a time, you need to divert your attention for a little bit so you can refocus.
Go for a quick jog or walk around the Boulevard to clear your head.
6. Be realistic, even your teachers think you should.
Professor Ben Voth, chair of communication studies and the director of debate at SMU.
“Start early, and set reasonable goals, don’t try to be a perfectionist, instead try to achieve the grade necessary,” Voth said.
It can be hard to concentrate on school work when you can just taste the freedom in the air. Winter break is just within arm’s reach.
Take these six tips from fellow students and professors and buckle down for just a few more days and finish the last haul.
Lastly, don’t forget to take care of yourself. Academics are important, but so is your mental and physical health.