As the fall semester begins to come to a close, most students are feeling the pressure to end the term on a good note. Classes are winding down and syllabi may have to be altered to make sure the class ends at a certain point in the curriculum. The entire semester can be stressful, but the last few weeks before finals seem to really affect students and professors alike.
When asked how she felt about the last three weeks before final exams, Elizabeth McMullen said one word could cover her feelings: “stress.”
She explains that no other point in the semester challenges her as much as these last few weeks. “The end of fall semester is the worst part of the year without a doubt; I think it’s because Christmas break is so close we can almost taste it so we try to rush the semester which just stresses us out more.”
McMullen continued to explain that since it’s her junior year she is very grateful for professors being sympathetic to the stress she is feeling. “My professors seem to just understand, in a way I believe they may be feeling the stresses as well, but I have had many professors tell me to just take a step back and relax.”
Counting down the days to Thanksgiving break, then finals, and ultimately Christmas break has become a way students get through the stress. “One more week until break” or “only one more exam before finals” has become a way to cope with the many assignments students are given during the final stretch of the semester.
Daniel Watson, a senior this year, knows this all too well. He explains that the countdown on his kitchen wall in his Brookwood apartment has become the only way he is keeping sane.
“Without my countdown I don’t think I would make it through the many presentations and exams I still have to get through this semester. The Christmas break countdown is without a doubt my favorite one to watch wind down, I just keep thinking if I can make it to that point then I am in the home stretch to graduate in May,” he says.
Watson explains that many of his friends have these countdowns in their academic planners and in their various living spaces.
“One of my professors actually gives us a countdown every class till finals, it seems like he is ready for break too and probably for a new set of students as well.” Watson keeps a smile on his face while he talks about the end of fall semester but some students aren’t as thrilled.
Kayla Williams, a freshman this semester, said she was actually more stressed at the beginning of the semester than she is now. “I was freaking out the first couple weeks and just now feel like I have a hold of things, and now it will be changing again. Maybe it’s because it is my first year, but I’m pretty sure I won’t be freaking out and stressed again until the beginning of spring.”
Stress can be a part of any student’s college experience. The key is to make sure you talk to your professors and don’t let the stress or the pressure get to you.