End of semester crunch is stress for students


Grace Morrissey, Correspondent

Finals week stress is finally setting in. To cope with the stress of papers, projects, and exams, students need to recognize the stress in their lives, find the source of it, and then make changes to eliminate it. To do this, look to Marywood University’s Counseling/Student Development Center for guidance and tips.

Debra Pavlico, staff counselor, said she has found that academic stress is placed upon students not only by professors, but also by “the pressure we put on ourselves to meet specific goals.” According to the Counseling Center’s “Making Stress Work FOR You” pamphlet, here are a few sure-fire ways to turn stress into manageable productivity.

Make a to-do list. According to the pamphlet, creating a list of reasonable and important tasks, can make the work process more systematic. Dr. Helen Bittel, the chairperson of the English department, advised students looking to manage end of the semester stress to “always, always, always break big assignments into small, doable chunks.” In doing so, students will feel productive and in control. Additionally, she recommended instituting a rewards system, increasing motivation and overall attitude.

Utilize communication with faculty and classmates. With exams piling up, information becomes jumbled, disjointed, and misplaced. By taking advantage of office hours and talking to professors, students can clear up any questions or concerns regarding material for the course. After a chat with a teacher, get a study group together. One of the best ways to study and review is through discussion — so start talking.

Do not procrastinate; make a schedule. Things pile up in no time, and procrastination is merely a gateway to feeling defeated. Pavlico advised students “to avoid adding to the stress by waiting until the last minute to start studying.” Instead, by completing tasks as they come while still scheduling time to breathe and relax, students will feel on top of the work by the time finals roll around.

Stay healthy and connected. Proper nutrition, amounts of sleep, and socialization are key to maintain a healthy, happy life. Yes, focus on grades, but do not lose sight of the learning, the campus life, and the values offered
here at Marywood. Stay physically, emotionally, and mentally active. Dr. Margaret Karolyi, lecturer in the psychology department, suggested to“do something good for yourself.”

Barbara Decker, associate director of the Counseling Center is in charge of Peers on Wellness (POW!) , and she along with its members “promote student wellness across campus, which includes stress management.” Groups such as POW offer a sense of belonging and stability, and ultimately will keep members in good health and humor. Email [email protected] for more information about POW!

So take a deep breath; let the anxiety out, and the calm in. Work hard and stay committed, knowing what really matters is achieving personal bests. The rest will follow.