Coping With End of Semester Stress

Students Find Themselves Overwhelmed by End of Semester Assignments

Good luck trying to find a seat anywhere in the Harry A. Sprague library over the next week. May 13th is the last day of the Spring 2015 semester at Montclair State University, and students like Hyunkyu Lee, Finance major and junior, are already hunkering down to finish up their last projects and study for their upcoming final exams. Lately, Lee has been spending large portions of his time in the library having study sessions with his friends. “I do get stressed out during this time of the semester,” he says. “Luckily, I’ve learned to cope with stress and I’m pretty proud to say that I’m very good at coping with it.”

“I like to understand the situation and not run away from it, first of all. I know that there is a lot that needs to be done, so the first thing I do is divide the workload and put it into different schedules,” Lee says. His technique is a great option to help keep things manageable while having to complete several assignments within a short period of time. “By doing this, I have a peace of mind,” says Lee.
And very lucky Lee is to have developed this technique. Many other students have trouble dealing with the amounts of stress brought on at the end of the semester by the mountains of assignments and tests piled upon them. Although finals period is a stressful time for most students, each person discovers different ways to manage this stress and successfully accomplish all that needs to be done before they can go enjoy summer break.

Tala Ismail, a Political Science major and freshman, has already learned how to deal with the stress of finals week, as well. “I do things in increments. For example, this eight page paper that I’m working on now,” she says, motioning towards her laptop. “Instead of just sitting down and doing it at once, which freaks me out, I’ll split it up and do it in parts.”

“I think I have three finals on one day. It’s crazy,” says Gianna Gesualdo, a sophomore Finance major. “I try to just balance my work. I’ll work on something for a while and then I’ll pause and take a break and go get a coffee… I usually try to think to myself that it’s not the end of the world if I were to fail, I guess. All you can do is try to do your best.”

It is also important to ensure that during this chaotic period of time, students are maintaining healthy habits. “Take breaks and make sure you get enough sleep,” says Cordell Erskine, an undeclared freshman. “Set a certain time that you have to go to sleep at night and keep that time. Actually go to sleep when you say you’re going to. Don’t stay up doing work, because you’re going to get more stressed out. It’s good to keep a steady sleep time.”

Math Education major and sophomore, Allison Zale, says, “I get stressed out because a lot of my major classes put their final projects, quizzes, and exams on the same week, so everything is kind of piled together.” When asked about how she copes with this, Zale said, “My friends definitely keep me balanced because they remind me that it’s just an exam and that I should rest sometimes. I can take time to sleep and eat and you know, go out for maybe an hour, and then come back and do more studying.”

Despite the onslaught of stress brought on by the end of the semester, students seem to be figuring out ways to conquer it. Along with the varying methods they employ to diminish the stress, the upcoming events of the summer are a huge motivation. “I have an internship this summer, so I’m excited about that,” says Gesualdo. “I can’t wait to go to California,” says Ismail. Erskine shares that he is eager to go to the beach and EDC, an electronic music festival. Zale looks forward to working as an MSU orientation leader.

As for Lee, “This summer I am looking forward to the fact that three days after the semester is over I am starting my 15 credit summer courses, so once again, I’m going to have to go back to my favorite hobby of dealing and coping with stress”, he says.

Montclair State | New Jersey

Jessicca Bacher

Jessicca Bacher is a Communication Studies / Public Relations major with a minor in Business. Since a young age, she has been passionate about journalism. She enjoys writing and professional development, and loves MSU, but eagerly awaits what the future has in store for her after college, as well.