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Most stressful time of the year
Counselor gives tips on handling stress
As the end of the semester rapidly approaches, students across campus prepare for their final exams. Whether they are freshmen or seniors, many students have said that finals week is the most stressful part of the semester.
Though some professors do not require their students to take a final exam, others make the final worth up to 50 percent of a student’s overall grade for the semester.
Sophomore Tory Parker said she does not stress over routine quizzes, but gets anxious during finals week.
“They count for so much more usually,” Parker said. “Walking to those tests is like walking to my doom.”
Freshman Sam Modico said he is a little nervous to take finals for the first time as a college student this semester.
“It’s something you have to do well on, because finals have a heavier weight on your final grade,” Modico said. “It was hard to get into this school and failing out is not an option.”
Kenneth Wenning, a counselor at the Mount Carmel campus Counseling Center, said it is common for students to turn to counseling services when dealing with school-related stress.
“A lot of what we see here at the Counseling Center are students who are anxious and stressed with significant workloads,” Wenning said. “There’s a lot of students here who have a lot on their plates.”
Wenning said he has noticed incoming freshmen as the majority of students who were dealing with high levels of stress.
“They have a lot of freedom combined with high expectations, and I think that is a recipe for stress and anxiety in the incoming students,” Wenning said.
Senior Heather Scott said her stress becomes more apparent during finals week, but says she manages to control it.
“I find I’m more stressed about how I’m going to study for multiple finals and prepare major presentations at the same time,” Scott said.
Although Modico said he is stressed for finals week in general, Scott said math and science exams have always made her more anxious in the past.
“They were more difficult since they were outside my [public relations] major, but math and science have never been my strongest subjects,” Scott said.
To help students cope with their stress, Wenning said he uses philosophical tools to lower the pressure they put on themselves.
“Life is not usually so fragile that if you flunk a test that everything comes unraveled,” Wenning said. “Some students are so perfectionistic and need a little help understanding that making a mistake along the way just means you’re human.”
Wenning said he often suggests students try yoga or meditation to lower stress, and has even posted links to YouTube tutorials on the MyQ Counseling Services page.
Scott said she does not see the appeal of yoga, but has her own method of unwinding.
“I find I can better relax by watching movies and TV shows on Netflix,” Scott said.
Parker said there is only one thing that would reduce her stress during finals week.
“I just think finals week would be less stressful for everyone if final exams weren’t worth such a large chunk of your overall grade,” Parker said.