Overcoming the stress, anxiety of finals week

As the end of the semester draws near, students deal with finals differently. Photo by Allyson Hazelrigg.

As the end of the semester draws near, students deal with finals differently. Photo by Allyson Hazelrigg.

With finals around the corner, Oklahoma Christian University students are dealing with the stress and emotion of finals week in various different ways.

According to Oklahoma Christian counselor Brenda Gunter, the end of the semester is always an extremely stressful time of the year and students respond to this stress in different ways.

“With all of the final tests and projects that take place at the end of the year, and then on top of that the holidays and different travels that will take place, it gets very stressful for students, especially with the amount of stress they have preparing for finals,” Gunter said. “People that cope better with stress tend to be people that are taking good care of themselves by getting enough sleep and living a healthy lifestyle.”

Gunter said she would advise students to have an orderly schedule during the time of finals and manage their time wisely.

“Time management is a huge factor that can play into the amount of stress and anxiety that can occur,” Gunter said. “It is important to make sure that you take time for yourself still by having study breaks so you don’t overwhelm yourself, spending time with some friends in between studying and homework is also a great idea. One thing that can be very helpful is calming exercises or just anything that will kind of bring you back down to earth and make you think more clearly and just kind of calm you down and make you realize that it will be okay.”

Ryan Newell, professor of psychology and family studies, said research shows extensive stress on individuals tends to make them more prone to physical illness.

“Stress is definitely higher for students during finals week,” Newell said. “You notice this because students start to miss class or become sick easier than they normally would. Students’ eating and sleeping schedules change during this time due to the fact that a lot of them are scrambling to finish last-minute assignments and cramming for tests and then just that stress of wondering what your final grade is going to end up being is a very stressful concept.”

Newell said students should begin prepping for finals at the beginning of the semester in order to avoid unnecessary stress near the end.

“My advice for students that really struggle with high stress and anxiety with finals would be to not put things off and wait until last minute, creating good time management for yourself during this time is extremely important,” Newell said. “Staying up late and cramming for tests is not an effective way to succeed during finals week. My best advice would be for students to start preparing and studying for finals right at the beginning of the semester so you do not have to rely on the last couple weeks to soak everything in.”

For some students, this is their first finals week and they are searching for the best ways to cope with the extra pressure and stress.

“Preparing for finals has definitely been time-consuming with homework and studying but not as difficult as I thought it would be,” freshman Tyler Klaassen said. “The fact that it is not as challenging might be my own choice, but I feel like the work I am doing will earn me good grades and pay off in the long run.”

Klaassen said when he does become overwhelmed he has two different techniques that help him manage his stress levels.

“I relax and deal with stress by spending time with people,” Klaasen said. “This really energizes me and brings me joy and even helps me to clear my mind, especially when I need a pick-me-up. But when all else fails, the next thing that really helps me is taking a nap. You can never go wrong with a solid nap.”

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