Students scream to kick off exam season

Jackie Valley

Five, four, three, two, one . “AHHH!”

Students’ brains may be overloaded, but their lungs are in good shape.

At 8:05 p.m. last night, students screamed their end-of-the-semester frustrations out in the campus’ first Kent SCREAM Day.

About 40 students attended the mud- and rain-filled event in the lawn near the Centennial Court residence halls.

“It turned into Kent State mud day, rather than scream day, but it was a success,” creator Ryan Jenks said.

Jenks, a freshman communications major, organized the event after his friend, freshman Andy McEntee, said he wanted to vent his school-related stress by screaming.

“I just sent out an invite to all my friends on Facebook, and I got good feedback,” Jenks said.

Attendees reacted positively to the event.

“I came because it would be fun to let out our aggression,” said Matt Martin, senior integrated sciences major. “I’m sick and tired of tests.”

Jenks hopes the event will become a campus tradition.

“I’d like for it to be bigger,” Jenks said. “If it’s a success now, we can possibly make it a campus event.”

Kent SCREAM Day’s timing is in synch with what is often the most difficult part of the semester.

“For many students, balancing the end of the semester work with holiday commitments can be stressful,” said Angela Neal-Barnett, associate professor of psychology at Kent State.

Procrastination, the pressure to meet professors’ expectations and the need to achieve a certain grade point average all contribute to students’ increased stress levels, she said, but so do holiday finances and family stress.

“People just assume that most students are always looking forward to the holidays, but that is often not true,” Neal-Barnett said. “Some people stay in Kent or go home with friends.”

Neal-Barnett offered the following tips to successfully navigate the holiday and semester stress load:

• Set time priorities.

• Get proper rest.

• Think positively.

• Don’t be afraid to ask for help.

“Exam week is extremely stressful, even if you are doing well,” she said.

Many students rely on their established study habits and stress relievers to make it to winter break.

“I always end up studying the night before my exam,” said Alex Wisniewski, senior business management major. “I work better under pressure.”

Amid taking practice tests online, Wisniewski relaxes by surfing the Internet, talking to friends or playing video games.

Sarah Papcun, a sophomore English literature major, indulges in “girly stuff” with her roommate, such as facials, manicures and pedicures.

During finals week, Dec. 10 to 14, students can also pack their books and head to All Night Study from 9 p.m. to 7 a.m. in the basement of the Student Center, sponsored by Kent Student Center Programming.

This year’s free event features a western theme and will include massages, crafts, food, giveaways, prizes and activities, said Rachael Shansky, Kent Student Center Programming supervisor and event planner.

“We do it so kids can have a place to come study at all times where it’s quiet and past library hours,” Shansky said.

Contact news correspondent Jackie Valley at [email protected].