The final countdown
Well, it’s that time of the semester again. Grab your flash cards, study guides, laptops, and notebooks because finals week is here. Missouri Western students were asked how they felt about finals week, and what they are doing to prepare for it. Sydnie Holzfaster, a freshman and biology major, was asked her thoughts on this subject and how it’s changed from her first semester on campus. “The difference between this semester and last, is that last semester I was taking fluffy classes to get use to campus, and now I’m here and I have finals, so it’s a little stressful,” Holtzfaster said. Stress levels depend on which finals you have, how many, and the impact they have on you and your grade. Hanna Parra, a film and cinema major, explained her way of dealing with stress in the past. “I get anxiety attacks and can’t get any sleep,” Parra said. “My first semester, if I got any sleep at all, it’d be in the lounge at the dorm.” Amber Stice, a psychology major, also explains her feelings for the upcoming finals week. “I think my teachers have prepared me very well this semester,” Stice said. “I’m not too overly stressed this time.” Whether you’re stressing full out or taking it pretty easy this semester, there are always good ways of handling finals. How you study and what you do to prepare for any test is an important part of doing well and keeping your anxiety levels down. Brittany Assel, a second year college student and English education major, gives her way of studying well and preparing for finals. “I like to study in groups,” Brittany said. “I can get really stressed out when I study, so if I’m around people who are in the same boat as I am, it makes it so much easier.” Everyone has different techniques to studying. It’s important to find what works best for you. “The best thing you can do is you can only study for so long, so take breaks or go for a walk, just something like that,” Holtzfaster said. But, even with successful studying skills, finals can still be a difficult time. Knowing positive ways to deal with the stress can also improve your overall performance for the week. Dr. Chelsea Howlett, a Missouri Western psychology professor, shares her thoughts on positive stress coping techniques. “With positive coping skills you want to make sure that it’s good for you, it’s good for other people, it makes you feel good, and it’s easy to do,” Howlett said. “If you can say 'yes' to all of these, than it’s a positive way of handling stress.” There are many ways to successfully handle stress. Elizabeth Bertram, a history major and future law student, gives an example of some ways to positively rid yourself of stress. “I try to get some sleep, and take breaks whether it’s a dinner break or shower or something, also I still do other activities like church to refresh my mind throughout the week,” Bertram said. Other good coping skills given by students were to listen to music, never skip a meal, and exercise. “Some of my stress relievers are to be active,” Assel said. “No matter how much I have to do, I try to make time to go to the gym or get outside and play tennis, even go for a walk.” So, if you’re in need of some advice for this semester’s finals, try doing some better studying and taking healthy approaches to redirect yourself from any harmful stress. “Stress can lead to depressed immune system, causing illness, chronic fatigue, no motivation, which can, in some cases, cause depression,” Howlett said. So, it’s important to figure out which techniques work best for you in order to stay away from too much anxiety and keep yourself in good shape for the remainder of the semester. Finals are hard, but with a positive outlook and healthy ways of handling them, getting those good grades should be a piece of cake.