The Digital Journalism Blog


Students Stressed Over Finals

Posted in Uncategorized by com360bu on December 10, 2012
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BY: JACKSON JUNKER & BOB PAARLBERG

It should come as no surprise finals freak people out. There’s more pressure than peace. More focus than fun (unless you’re in to this sort of thing). Relief and relaxation take a break as strain and studies make a permanent residence. How to cope with it? What can be done to take the mind off school if at least for a short while? Why does there never seem to be an end in sight? The slow tick tock of the clock grows ever slower as tedious toiling over minute details strains the brain to the point of breakdown. You discover that at 5 a.m. the library is the most popular place on campus. You discover there is a 5 a.m. There is more caffeine flowing through the blood veins than actual blood and there still isn’t enough caffeine to keep you going. Yeah, that sounds like finals. Below is a story, video, podcast and map outlining what finals are doing to students and how they deal with them.

Not a Typical Friday Night

Imagine a typical Friday.  Many people are out late at night, surrounded by friends, and spending an evening relaxing forgetting about the responsibilities and requirements of a week spent working.  Sounds pretty ordinary right?

Well this Friday is just like the rest except for one minor detail.

It’s spent at the library.

The time spent studying, though crucial for a student’s success, is far from enjoyable. It is accompanied by stress, walks hand in hand with sleepless nights, and is met with dread.

These feelings of nervousness perhaps lend themselves to a more dedicated work ethic and sharper focus, but the stress of finals is neither pleasant nor sought and must be attended to by students in any manner possible.

“I think it’s a lot more studying,” said junior Tim Lahey.  “I don’t really get down in the books all the time.”

That extra studying needed for finals adds to pressure and time constraints.

“I don’t often get overwhelmed,” said Lahey.  “But you know, when you have two exams on the same day, yeah it gets a little overwhelming.  I mean, I’m hardly ever at the library and this is the most time I’ve ever spent here.

It’s important to release some of that pressure during finals weeks, in order to remain relaxed and get enough sleep.

“I’ll play some video games, go to Markin to work out or play basketball with some friends,” said Lahey.  “I think it’s good to be with friends even at the library sometimes, you know they keep you honest and more focused.”

It’s not everyone who feels that same way about friends during finals.  The common conception is that friends will keep you distracted and away from the books.  But for finals, people are doing whatever feels comfortable during a hectic schedule.

“When I’m studying with friends I feel like I get about 70-85 percent accomplished,” said \ senior Luis Guzman, of the precise mind.  “If it’s a paper I’m working on, I do with friends to get some input and distract me.  You just have to find the right people.”

What may seem like endless hours working and studying at the library is often countered by what seems like an instant relaxing doing recreational activities.

Jon Kim, a senior who says he has studied 20-30 hours so far for exams and has yet to take one, the answer to stress came quickly.

“Oh yeah, I’m stressed out all the time,” said Kim.  “But I take some time off by working out.”

Many students say distraction comes easy during finals, and its hard to stay focused for so many hours over tedious details that might spell the difference between passing and failing, an “A” or a “B,” but there seems to be a common misconception during finals.

Drugs like Adderall or Vyvanse are prevalent on a college campus and the effects of them appear ideal for students during a busy week studying, but it seems they may not be as popular as what people might think, or as helpful.

In a non-scientific poll of students at Bradley, only 11 students in a total of 71 polled claim to have taken stimulants during finals to help them study and that’s not it.  Many people claimed they do not help.

Drugs such as these are prescribed for people suffering disorders that keep them from being focused.  Sounds much like the symptoms students have during finals.

But not matter what students are doing to help them focus or to stay relaxed, many are feeling stressed.

It’s a not-so-typical Friday.

The Library Does What It Can

Libraries are hardly ever the most pleasant or comfortable places to be.  Though some might deem them inherently evil, they are a necessary evil.  So, the Cullom-Davis library, a frenzy of activity during finals with big crowds does whatever it can to help students.  Open around the clock, and possessing an acute understanding of the hours when students study, the library offers a range of services to the over burdened burnt out studier.  Whether it be the “Midnight Munchies,” or available tutors, the library does what it can.

Student Librarian: A new perspective

A new installment on At The Library, we discuss what we’ve seen over the course of three nights at the library.  From when it’s the busiest to the most relaxed and what we observed from various students.  How people are studying and when?  What habits seem the most productive and what to do to relax.  We also touch base with a student librarian and what he’s seen over his years working during such strenuous times.

 <span><a href=”http://soundcloud.com/rpaarlberg/librarian-interview-1″>Librarian Interview</a> by <a href=”http://soundcloud.com/rpaarlberg”>rpaarlberg</a></span&gt;

 

Places That Can Help

Many people think “It would never happen to me,” when it comes to hearing about people stressing out too much during finals and desperately needing someone to talk to.  But, you can never be sure what might happen.  This is a map showing a few places that offers professional help when it comes to mental health, a few located right here on campus.  Check it out

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