End of the semester stretch
Melissa Nunez – General Assignment Reporter
Final exams, projects, and oral presentations has Annaleise Sabatino, freshman psychology major, working “non-stop” to ensure they are turned in successfully and promptly.
Sabatino said during finals she consistently checks and updates the status of her assignments through an agenda, which guarantees that she stays on schedule for her coursework. It also helps to make sure she does not get side-tracked.
Sabatino said her final assignments have gotten harder with her second semester. She assumes that as her classes become more substantial, finals will only become more challenging. But even without the increased workload experienced during finals, she said stress is a common factor for many students throughout the semester. Students should be aware and diligent to take care of themselves during these demanding times.
“I think people need to talk to their friends, keep up with their schedule, and make sure they are doing everything,” said Sabatino. “If you can’t do that, you could talk to a guidance counselor we have, you can get a tutor. There are so many resources on campus that you could utilize and you just need to do that. You can’t just ignore it and hope it goes away.”
Courtney Peters, senior English secondary education major, said, with two portfolios, a large paper, and presentations, finals are usually where she receives the bulk of her work.
Peters said she guarantees a higher quality of work by progressively completing some finals throughout the semester instead of leaving them for all for the end.
“I try getting [assignments] out of the way beforehand. Like the portfolio, I’m doing the lesson plans and getting feedback on them now, so when I compile them later I know what to just fix up. I’m not just writing them all at once,” said Peters. “I made that mistake before, it just kind of exploded, it was rather horrible. With huge assignments like portfolios you can’t do that.”
Peters added she also prioritizes assignments, like taking an earlier presentation date if she knows the later one will fall on the same week another major assignment is due and she also makes sure her work is done during the week so her weekends are left free to unwind.
Peters said organization is key during finals, making lists and visually keeping track of assignments is the best way for students to ensure they will not fall behind.
Jeffrey VanLone, director of the Counseling Center, said, like many other universities, the Counseling Center experiences an increase in visits during finals, since it is a period where students’ assignments are significantly consequential and become a source of anxiety.
VanLone said when students come in during this time, Counselors focus on helping them to relax, manage their emotions, to set realistic goals, and to put their problems into perspective. She said that coming in earlier may be more impactful, as through their Mindfulness Group, and through meditation and reflection, they can develop the skills to manage their emotions.
“The goal is that they develop greater control over their emotions so they are better able to regulate them. It’s not like the stress will go away, but they will have a way of dealing with it and that is the goal.”
VanLone said the Counseling Center is a place where students are offered an objective perspective, a place where their information stays secure, but whether or not they decide to come there, students should attribute finals as a time where extra support is essential to their well-being.
“I think it is a good time to seek extra support because it is a time of the year where people are so typically stressed and that support could be from a family member, it could be from a good friend,” said VanLone. “So it’s smart for all students to think of April and May or November and December as months where it is smart to think about getting some extra support to deal with the stress.”
Photo Credit: Melissa Nunez – General Assignment Reporter
PHOTO: Annaleise Sabatino, freshman psychology major