As the fall semester approaches its conclusion, Starbucks gift cards go empty, CaseCash dwindles down and “groutfits” are repeated for days on end. Although many Case Western Reserve University students embrace their worst selves in preparation for exams, some actively practice self-care in order to do well and then properly enjoy their winter break.
First-year student and rookie test-taker Tanvi Patel shared her concerns for finals week.
“In high school, we had multiple quizzes and assignments to balance out bad exam grades,” she said. “In college, there’s so much more pressure. The homework we get is mostly reading to supplement what we learn in class, so the weight of exams is particularly intimidating.”
Patel said she used her first semester of college to focus on developing healthy habits to sustain the pressure of studying for exams. She believes that emotion management is the most important factor when it comes to being successful and focused during heightened periods of stress.
“If your emotional state is bad, you’re automatically setting yourself up for failure,” she said. “I don’t sacrifice sleep unless I absolutely have no other choice, because then it makes emotional burdens easier to cope with.”
According to the University of St. Andrews, the most common indicators of exam stress are poor rest and nutrition, irrational grade predictions and bad time management. By alleviating any of these symptoms, students can automatically increase test performance.
Second year student Sara Young was plagued with the side effects of first-time finals stress last year.
“I didn’t have confidence in myself due to a lack of preparation and overall bad attitude,” she said. “Since then, I’ve been focusing on trusting myself and preparing for my exams appropriately.”
Young mentioned simple measures that any student can take to increase exam performance, including the acknowledgement of stress, eating and sleeping healthily, and, if necessary, suffering in the company of friends.
“Don’t belittle others in a one-upping contest,” she said. “We’re all busy, stressed and tired, so my advice is to try to remain positive.”
The Division of Student Affairs’ annual Thwing Study Over is geared towards helping students take a break before exams kick off. This year’s event is Dec. 11 at 7 p.m. in the Thwing Center, and as always, will feature food from local vendors, entertainment, giveaways and various interactive activities to give students a positive distraction from academics.
“I’m really looking forward to Study Over, especially because of the major spike in blood sugar that I know will come with the abundance of desserts,” Young said “It gives me the extra boost.”