Students talk stress with impending finals

Austen Brown, Reporter

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As finals week looms just over the horizon, students may find themselves anxious about how they will test out.

Some students, like freshman criminology major Jarad Barnes, provided examples of good de-stressing and studying habits.

Barnes said he calculates his current grade and decides the lowest possible grade he could get on the final to come out in good shape in that class.

“Once I realize that I can do worse than I thought, like, I don’t have to get a perfect score, it makes it a little less stressful,” Barnes said.

He also said being stressed for a test is important to a student’s success on it.

“Stress before anything important, especially exams, is really important,” Barnes said. “If you were sort of at ease about finals and really weren’t concerned about them, you really wouldn’t try as hard. But if you are stressed, you’re pressed to do more and prepare more. The more stress you feel, the more drive you have to be prepared, even if it’s detrimental to your health after the test.”

Barnes said students should begin studying now to ensure the best possible outcome on exams and said they can benefit from office hours and peer study groups.

Joshua Monier, a sophomore accounting major, said studying for hours on end with no breaks is not a preferred method of preparing for exams.

“I usually take a break from studying and just try to forget about it for a little bit to relax and then come back to it,” Monier said.

He said stress can either be detrimental to one’s outcome on a test or beneficial, depending on that student’s personality.

“Depending on who you are, (stress triggers) fight or flight,” he said. “You’re either going to freak out completely and not know what you’re doing, or the nerves are going to help you power through.”

Monier said it is important that students “take a step back” and attempt to remain calm when facing stress from impending finals.

“Yeah, it might be a little stressful before finals, but if you take that deep breath and relax, you’ll be OK,” he said.

Freshman human services major Alexis Arnett and freshman biological sciences major Phoebe Marcano both agreed that they usually stress a great deal about finals.

“I’m stressing already, and (finals) are next week,” Marcano said.

She said she sings in the quiet Doudna Fine Arts Center practice rooms to reduce the stress she feels from upcoming exams.

Arnett agreed with her on the statement that music helps in maintaining a stress-free mindset, saying she listens to music to help calm down under the anxiety that comes with impending finals.

Arnett said she feels students tend to draw a blank on information that they know when the pressure is on during final exams.

“I feel like test anxiety is a thing,” she said. “That affects people’s test scores when they do know the material, but when it comes time to take the actual test, they overthink it.”

For students who find themselves drowning in a proverbial sea of test anxiety, the Health Education Resource Center can provide opportunities to relieve the stress in healthy ways.

One statement that all the students agreed on was that they tend to put off studying to the last minute while acknowledging that they should start studying a week or two in advance, or even over Thanksgiving break.

Additionally, the Student Success Center provides helpful study techniques students can utilize to succeed on their finals.

According to its page on Eastern’s website, the Student Success Center strives to “provide comprehensive programs and holistic services that will empower students and connect them with the resources they need to achieve both academic and personal goals.”

Sophomore psychology major Jekeel Suber said he does not usually get too worried about upcoming finals.

Suber said not all classes are a cause for stress and it just depends on how well his grade is at the time of the test.

“If I’ve got, like, an 80 (percent), I’m stressing. If I’ve got … an 85 or 86 (percent), I don’t get stressed,” he said.

Hayden Lane, a freshman secondary education major, said he usually does not stress at all about finals either.

This was a statement that was agreed on by Aiden Meyer, a freshman marketing major.

“I’ve always been a good test-taker,” Meyer said. “I’ve never really been the stressful type.”

Austen Brown can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]