Students discuss ways to relieve end-of-semester stress

Erin Dean

Planning ahead and studying in the library top list of strategies

Sophomore architecture major Jose L. Rivera puts in a few hours of work into his condo complex project in the second floor lounge of Prentice Hall. Rachel Kilroy | Daily Kent Stater

Credit: DKS Editors

As freshman Patricia Haff prepares for her first week of finals, she knows the key to keeping her stress level under control is to stay organized and focused.

“I am a little stressed out because this is my first time for college finals,” the pre-dentistry major said. “But when I am stressed, I take a time out to get away from everything. I go running because that is a way that I have always relieved my stress. It gives me time to think about what I am doing and get myself back in order again, so when I get back, I can have a fresh, organized start.”

An option for students who are beginning to feel overwhelmed with the pressures of finals lies within the 12 stories of the library.

Graduate assistant Amy Campbell has been working at the reference desk in the library since last spring. She said she sees a change in the library as the end of the semester draws nearer.

“There are definitely more people here than there were early in the term,” she said as she motioned to the full first floor on a Sunday night. “We have lots of computers, and around this time we usually have people coming up to us asking if we have anymore available.”

For senior architecture major Joe Cantanzriti, the stress comes from final projects rather than actual finals week.

“As an architecture major, nearing the end of the semester brings a lot of stress on me because our final project is almost due,” Cantanzriti said. “That means endless nights of work in the studio. Our final project is mentally draining and doesn’t allow much room for any other class work.”

Cantanzriti said he manages his stress by having good time management and planning ahead.

Campbell, who sees other students’ late-night study sessions and last-minute crunching to finish projects, said she agreed that planning ahead is important.

“I’ve definitely gotten to the point where I have stressed out on certain projects before,” she said. “Sometimes, there is just nothing available when you need it. But the sooner you can get started on something, the better. We have so many resources that are available.”

Campbell said that she thinks the library is a great place to study, especially if you have a bothersome roommate.

“With the library staying open until 3 a.m., there are tons of nice, quiet places to study here,” she said. “Also, after 11, you don’t have to pay for visitor parking. So you could come in and study all night and get a close and cozy parking spot too.”

Junior English major Chelsey Swilik has been working at the circulation desk in the library since her freshman year.

“I’d say it definitely gets a little more stressful in here,” Swilik said. “During the first six weeks of school the library is really dead. There is only ever like five people. It definitely starts filling up this time of the year.”

Swilik, who works until the library closes at 3 a.m., said there is never a huge number of students there that late.

“Security does a count for us between 2 and 3 in the morning,” she said. “Usually around that time there are no more than five people here. I’d say the most I’ve ever seen here at one time is about 30 people.”

Swilik said she agreed with Campbell that the library is a great place to study.

“Late at night is when the study floors aren’t too crowded,” she said. “The best time to come and start is sometime after dinner.”

Haff, who said she’s most worried about her Modern History final, hopes to stick to a plan.

“I want to try to do a little of studying from each class every night,” she said. “But since I don’t live in a perfect world, it probably won’t happen and I’ll just end up cramming the night before. It’s a nice thought though.”

Haff said despite the anticipated stress that comes with finals, these last few weeks of classes haven’t been too hectic.

“My teachers have been pretty good about it,” she said. “The only project I have is one last final paper. Other than that, I am just focusing on studying for my finals.”

Cantanzriti said he is only worried about his final project and is actually looking forward to finals week.

“Finals week is more of a relief than a stress for me because the only thing I have to worry about is taking a couple of tests over an entire week,” he said. “I prepare for it by relaxing and taking a break from the semester. I just have to simply use my time wisely enough to leave time to spend studying for my test.”

Cantanzriti said his advice is to take a break and relax between studying.

“Make sure to keep your time managed so that you have plenty of time to both relax and study so you don’t get too overwhelmed,” he said.

Contact student life reporter Erin Dean at [email protected].