End of the semester stress tips from students, faculty

Lucy Lopez, Culture Editor

The end of the semester comes, your Netflix queue fills up and being a student starts to feel like a full-time job (if it hasn’t already).

With the end of the semester near, and the air in the Study Quad becoming thick from stress, some students and faculty offered tips on handling the pressure of final exams, papers and presentations.

SUNY Buffalo State graduate Michelle Reinhart, ’13, recalls her days as a student and what she would have done differently.

Having a planner was her greatest asset to make sure all her assignments and due dates were written down to stay organized.

“I used to hang out with my friends and family when I was feeling stressed out during school; they were always there to keep me grounded,” she said. “I also enjoyed going to the movies, which cleared my head for a couple of hours, a great stress reliever.”

Reinhart says she definitely would have taken advantage of her downtime more.

“I [also] would have also sought out more professors during their office hours. I found my last semester that they do want to help, but as a student, you have to ask.”

Professors understand the pressure students are under with their multiple deadlines and exams packed into the final weeks of the semester.

Philosophy lecturer Justin Donhauser starts his advice for students off with a quote. “Arthur Schopenhauer wrote: ‘It is only in the microscope that our life looks so big.’ One thing we can take away from this is that it is only when we focus in on whatever we are stressed out about that it looks big and stressful,” he said.

When you feel stressed, Donhauser said, “take pause. ‘Zoom out’ on your problem, and put it in perspective.”

He also says the time wasted stressing and complaining could be used to get whatever is causing the stress done

Raymond Rushboldt, political science lecturer, simply says to “relax and take some time to finally enjoy the glorious weather.”

“Here in WNY we enjoy spring and summer as it takes a while to get here (especially this year). Then make a plan on what to do and study and get to work but take a break and enjoy as well and stress will go away!”

End of semester pressure can even travel overseas. Laura Albrecht, senior communication design major, finds comfort in studying in groups. With only about 10 students in the program in Italy, finals next week is not so daunting. Though living abroad seems like it could be stressful, she’s been enjoying having the routine of her new classes everyday.

And although we’re finally getting some spring weather in Buffalo and might be spending it inside working, contrastingly, Albrecht’s professors know students go abroad to enjoy the country and encourage that experience.

“They want us to experience Italy and to travel, so they don’t bog us down with a lot of outside work, but that means more is expected in the classroom,” she said. “Being on time, present, and hard-working all throughout the semester was really important to them.”

While student athletes can experience a high volume of busyness a majority of the year, Buffalo State kicker and junior psychology major Marc Montana has his system down on how to manage stress.

“My stress level at the end of the semester is only slightly higher than my stress level throughout the entire semester,” Montana said. “Between my academics, athletics, extracurricular [activities] and family life at home it is fair to say that I have a lot going on.

“However, at the end of every semester there is more stress, of course, to finish the semester. That is why I have a regular regimen of working out (weightlifting), regular asana (yoga), and kicking (football) to better myself, but also relieve stress.”

During this crunch time, you might find yourself having very little time for a social life, as junior hospitality major Madison Kiernan explains. She uses a balancing strategy. Kiernan is three exams, one paper, a presentation and a PowerPoint away from summer.

“If I can get an overview of my final two weeks of school and factor in work and my social life (what little one I have time for), my mind seems to be more at ease,” Kiernan said.

“Puppies and coffee don’t hurt either!”

So buckle up, and start the hyper speed now. The finish line is near.

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