By Tanner Harris
Finals week is here again. As unwanted as a doctor’s visit, we cannot avoid it forever. With finals, comes stress.
Finals exams can negatively affect students’ health, sometimes detrimentally.
According to an article from the University of Texas, 13 percent of college students use prescription drugs like Ritalin and Adderall for improved focus during final exams. In addition, sleep deprivation and poor eating habits are just some of the potential side effects of high stress.
Priti Devaprakash, 21, a senior English major, has six finals lined up and said it would be better if students had a week off to prepare for their tests.
“[My stress level is] very high, considering all my classes have term papers as well as finals. There are going to be more papers due next week and I have to study for finals on top of that, so not cool,” said Devaprakash.
Many students had varying opinions on finals and how prepared they are.
Lisa Fong, 24, a sixth year biochemistry major, said she wishes there was no such thing as finals.
“I have two actual finals, a lab practical, and a paper due. My stress levels are very low…until the last minute. Right now it’s at a 30, in a couple hours it’ll be a 70, and by the end of tonight it’s definitely going to be a 90-100%,” said Fong.
To some students, their stress for finals is not as bad as some other students.
Grace Prall, 19, a sophomore psychology major, admits she’s in the minority of liking finals.
“It means the year is wrapping up. I try to focus my studying on the final that’s closest…[but] I think the semester has prepared me for it. A smaller workload has led me to not be as stressed, but on a scale of 1-10, I’m maybe a 6,” said Prall.
In addition to having to spend a large amount of time studying, many students also have other obligations to worry about such as work and family.
Students also face additional detriments from stress. According to Kaptest.com, test-induced stress can lead to a compromised immune system, dropping out, emotional and cognitive problems, and depression.
Christian Russell, 23, a senior Business major, had a rough experience with finals in the past.
“[My stress was] through the roof… [and] a friend of mine killed himself because of it. He had two classes from the hardest teacher in the department…he posted on Facebook ‘I’m sorry guys, I’m super stressed with everything and I can’t do it anymore’ and that was it. I tried not to think about [my finals], though I picked up a nicotine addiction in response to having to stay up until four in the morning,” said Russell.
Stephen Habgood, chairman of Papyrus, an organization dedicated to helping prevent suicide in people under 35, said that the changes that could lead to young people taking their own lives.
“We are particularly concerned about the pressures on young students. Transition from a settled home life to university, where young people feel a pressure to succeed, face changes in their circle of friends and feel the impact of financial difficulties, can put extreme pressure on a young person,” stated Habgood in an article from TheGuardian.com
Students complained about their professors, many of whom felt that their methods were misguided.
“Certain professors try to teach new material too close to the end of the semester, and it would be better if we had a review day instead of the last lecture being the last class meeting before going into finals,” said Devaprakash.
“President Mitchell’s promise to us [going from quarter to semester system] was that it would be the exact same workload stretched out over a longer period of time. If [professors] add addition additional units to the course…it’s detrimental to student health,” said Russell.
Students said they have different methods of relieving stress.
“I’ll take breaks when I’m…studying [to relieve stress], and I’ll just come back to it later. I like to take naps too. Studies have shown that if you sleep after studying, then you’re more likely to retain that information. Just look for the light at the end of the tunnel. Look forward to it being over, do the best you can, and then you get Christmas vacation!” said Prall.
Bailey Russell, 21, an English and psychology double major, reminded students that the most that can be done is their best.
“One of the things to remember is that no matter how finals turn out…it’s okay. If you’re giving it everything you’ve got and you did the best you could possibly do, that’s something to be proud of. When you feel overwhelmed, be willing to take a step back.”
The last official day on campus is December 14.