UMW students and faculty face finals week with dread and donuts
By EMILY HOLLINGSWORTH
Finals week, an often stressful time for students and faculty alike, will be taking place at the University of Mary Washington between Dec. 8 and Dec. 13.
Being a college student can be overwhelming, both with and without final exams. According to an assessment conducted by the National College Health Assessment in the spring of 2013, 20.5 percent of male students and 17 percent of female students reported “feeling overwhelmed by all [they] had to do” in the past 12 months. In another finding, 8.8 percent of male students and 13.2 percent of female students had reported feeling “overwhelming anxiety” in the last 30 days during the semester.
According to freshman Jared Lambourne, his stress comes from the grades that go along with exam taking.
“So stressed. It’s the difference between passing and failing a class,” Lambourne said.
Many students and faculty have solutions in their arsenal to cope with finals week.
For specific study tips, such as learning definitions, senior and mathematics major Marco Lavine begins his work early.
“I write down all of the definitions the week before. Then I look over them and write them down every day before the exam,” Lavine said.
Freshman Lauren Frautschi also vouched for studying early, suggesting, “I would say to space out studying so you’re not overwhelmed. And to space it out over the course of a few days so you’re not cramming.”
Junior business administration major Sean Amico suggested taking frequent breaks to process the information.
“It sounds counter-productive. I study for an hour then take a 20 minute break. It helps,” Amico said.
The UMW Young Democrats are selling boxes containing a dozen Krispy Kreme doughnuts for $8. In addition, the group will deliver the doughnuts to any location on campus.
The members of the group themselves are struggling with finals and the anxiety that comes with them.
“[The word] stressful is an understatement,” said Benjamin Hermerding, president of the Young Dems and a senior political science major.
Like Morris, senior geography major and Young Dems member Amanda Orchowsky is overwhelmed more with the projects due prior to final exams.
“It’s not even the finals. It’s the paper that are due beforehand,” Orchowsky said, who has two 20-page papers due before the end of the semester.
Lack of sleep was a major issue some students said they struggled with in studying for finals.
“Make sure you get sleep,” Orchowsky suggested, “pulling all-nighters does not do you any good.”
Orchowsky also suggested creating a to-do list to spread out the work and to make studying less overwhelming.
“If you have to plan out your schedule day by day, [do it.] That’s what I do,” Orchowsky said.
The overwhelming workload that accompanies finals are not only limited to students. Faculty members experience it as well.
Mark Snyder, assistant professor music, described the enormous volume of student assignments and exams he receives from students and grades over the last few weeks of the semester.
“It’s a lot of work. Hundreds of hours of grading,” Snyder said.
While there is a lot of work involved, Snyder does not let it overwhelm him.
“I don’t feel stress. It’s an unnecessary place to put yourself into. It debilitates people,” Snyder said.
For students juggling multiple end-of-semester projects or exams, Snyder encourages them to not allow stress to impede them from turning in what they have.
“Sometimes you just have to let it go. You get what you have done and just turn it in,” Snyder said.
Finals can be a difficult and often stressful time for students and faculty. Senior music major Becky Brown is aware of this, for herself and for the students around her. To alleviate stress, she and her roommate played “I’m a Christmas Unicorn” by Sufjan Stevens and sang along with it. Brown suggested allowing students to make the best of what will be a stressful few weeks.
“If you give into the mania, it makes it easier… Accept everyone will be a little loopy, and enjoy it for what it is,” Brown said.