Resident Assistants combat finals week stress among on-campus students

Linda Stocum

Residence halls help students prepare for finals week by mandating 24-hour courtesy hours and planning hall events to help students destress.

Beginning May 4 after 8 p.m., students living in residence halls are expected to maintain 24-hour quiet hours until the end of the semester in order to provide individuals living in residence halls an quiet environment to study.

During all other weeks of the semester, students abide by 24-hour courtesy hours, which is defined as, “Conditions under which normal and reasonable noise is not disruptive or disturbing to either students or staff,” according to the Kent State University hallways handbook online.

Although quiet hours are intended to give students time to study for finals, students like Eva Zemper, a sophomore English major, said they feel quiet hours are not enough.

“I am grateful for quiet hours, but honestly sometimes I need more than quiet to be able to study for finals well,” Zemper said. “I get so nervous that even with the hours in effect, my mind can’t think straight.”

Katie Studnichia, a resident assistant in Olson Hall and a sophomore visual communication design major, said she knows how stressful finals can be so she does her best to help her residents feel at peace.

“As an RA with a difficult and time-consuming major, I know how hard it can be not to stress too much. I have tried to do the best that I can to make sure my residents are feeling a little less overwhelmed,” Studnichia said. “I made a bulletin board full of bubble wrap that said “Pop The Stress Away” for it to be easy for people to walk by and just pop the bubbles.”

She said it’s important for students to stay calm not only during finals week but also during the regular semester.

“This year I have tried to plan a lot of destress events because personally, I think everyone just enjoys them more. Last semester I had an ice cream social with coloring pages, and it was very successful,” Studnichia said. “This semester I had a make your slime event as well as a painting and mocktails night with some fellow RA’s. They have all had a great turnout and were a huge success. I also have done some passive programming by handing out bubble wrap when residents need some.”

Anna Mika, a junior anthropology major, said programs like these help to distract from the stress of final exams.

“I live in Verder so all of the events I go to are creative. It’s such a nice way to get away from my note cards for a while,” Mika said.

She said she gets stressed during finals and taking time away from the material gives her a much-needed break.

“I hate how I feel like no matter how much I study, its never enough time,” Mika said. “So at least at an event, I’m doing something productive while I procrastinate.”

Studnichia said it’s her job to help her students, and she advises students who feel overwhelmed to take a break and spend time away from their notes.

“I would suggest the students just take a deep breath and stay calm. If you are feeling overwhelmed, try doing something that you enjoy. Seek out the help from a friend also because sometimes all you need is a little pep talk,” Studnichia said.

Linda Stocum is the room and board reporter, contact her at [email protected].