Finals week is a symbol of what the Greeks called Hades’ underworld.
For most students, this is a miserable dream full of darkness, it’s desolate and barren of hope. A joyless state where one’s soul slowly drifts into nothingness. It’s a place filled with rivers of forgetfulness, lost notes and hopes, endless reviews and fire which destroys the soul.
For others it is as Elysium, a place of rest and joy—there might be some hate directed at those people who see it as such.
One can say that there is an immense amount of stress associated with finals, a stress that can make students cry. However there is hope. With stress comes eventual relief.
Melanie Chambers, a learning specialist for USU’s academic success center, said many students are stressed about finals because they sneak up on them.
“Once being a student I understand,” she said. “You have a lot to do and it’s hard to remember 15 weeks of material, at least it was for me.”
Chambers emphasized that stress is actually critical while preparing for finals because if students didn’t feel stressed about a final, why would they study at all?
With that in mind, it’s important students find their optimal stress level, where they feel stressed enough to study and prepare for their week, but not so stressed where they’re overwhelmed and suffer mental breakdowns.
Finding this optimal stress level can be tricky, especially when it comes to alleviating feeling overwhelmed. However there are diverse and sundry means of doing so.
Parker Judd, a freshman studying environmental engineering said, “Realize that finals may be stressful, but don’t let them consume every moment of your day… Get out and go do something, go on a hike, go up to the canyon, that helps you forget about finals for a little.”
Maggie Thompson, an elementary education major, suggests everyone take a pillow and scream just to let all the stress out once in awhile.
Chambers said planning is critical to success and stress management. Online, ASC provides a five day studying schedule to help students make specific goals to prepare for the test, one of many tools provided by the center.
Chambers also suggest that students study apply a cycle of concentration. This consists of a warm-up, where students set goals for what they want to learn; a deep-study phase, when the study guides and flashcards come out; and lastly, a ten-minute break when they’ve met their goals or are tired.
The purpose of the break is to simply do something different than what you’re studying requires, whether it’s screaming into a pillow, getting a drink or taking a walk, it doesn’t really matter.
Relieving stress is personal thing and each student should find out what works best for them. However, additional suggestions include: long boarding, working out, playing pool, listening to Fall Out Boy and reminding yourself that in a week, all of this will be over with.