All the leftovers are gone and the countdown to finals has begun. Finals can mean that last push to end the school year, the ticket to freedom, and a whole lot of stress.
Some students find finals unbearable. Sometimes the level of stress can cause serious health problems.
“Finals is always the worse time for me,” said Stacey Hill a senior at Hampton University, “Last year my heart was beating irregular during finals, I had to go to the hospital, one year I had migraines. I’m always physically ill somehow.”Florida A& M University Professor May believes that finals are important to test what students have learned throughout the semester.
“A final is an accumulation of everything you have learned during the semester. Students should have been studying all semester long therefore there should not be any pressure. You know the material,” said May. “The best way to handle finals is to go over your notes, out loud and with a reliable study partner, don’t cram and get plenty of rest.”
Brian Rankan a junior at Hampton University has the answer to a stress free final, “Finals aren’t stressful, and you just need to be able to manage your time.”
Rankan’s friend, Chris Salter disagrees, “Finals are stressful, between writing papers, taking tests, not sleeping-when you really just want to go home. It’s stressful even if you know how to manage your time.”Before the stress gets unbearable WebMD.com offers some suggestions when dealing with stress:
Exercise. Regular physical activity is one of the most effective stress management techniques. €¢\
Writing. Research shows that expressing yourself in writing can be a very effective way to reduce your stress level.
Expressing your feelings. Talking, laughing, crying, and expressing anger are normal parts of the emotional healing process.
Doing something you enjoy. A hobby or other healthy leisure activity that is meaningful to you can help you relax. Volunteer work or work that helps others can be a powerful stress reliever.
Body-centered relaxation. This includes breathing exercises, muscle relaxation exercises, massage, aromatherapy, yoga, and the traditional Chinese relaxation exercises tai chi and qi gong.
Mindfulness activities. These include learning how to relax your body through self-hypnosis, meditation, imagery exercises, listening to relaxing music, and using humor to reduce stress.
Dr. Ann Halloway adds more helpful advice for students, “I can not overemphasize this-if you find the stress unmanageable or you start feeling depressed, please go to your student health center or talk to a counselor.”
Hill believes her upcoming finals will be different this time, “I deal with stress by talking to my counselor. She suggested that I take up yoga and hopefully that will make a big difference.”