Spending a Saturday night at Herman B Wells Library may not be on the IU bucket list, but for some students, it is a necessary college experience, especially when preparing for finals week.
As the night progressed, the amount of food in students’ work areas increased. King Dough pizza, Chipotle burritos, Jimmy John’s sandwiches and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups helped keep morale high while students studied.
Freshman Mary Kate Hamilton, a journalism major, said she typically spends her Saturday nights out with friends but decided to spend this Saturday studying at Wells.
“It’s better to be overprepared than underprepared,” she said. “I just want to be ready.”
Hamilton said she is not too stressed about finals because she has spent the last week studying. However, for some students, stress is an inevitable part of finals week regardless of how much time they dedicate to final exam preparation.
Juniors Brianna Levenson and Sohale Shakoor said they spend double the amount of time studying during dead week and finals week, compared to a normal school week.
Although they both spend about four hours a day studying for finals, Levenson said she still feels stressed throughout the week.
“Just the fact that your grade is a lot of times dependent on or can change depending on how well or how badly you do on a final or final project, especially if you’re like us and are applying to grad school,” Levenson said.
Junior Korie Rice, an executive board member of U Bring Change 2 Mind, an anti-stigma campaign, said because of the pressure college students deal with, it is common for them to feel inadequate, particularly at a time when the stakes are higher.
Rice said many college students value their grades to an unhealthy extent and sometimes even value themselves based on the grades they receive. This can cause a decline in mental health when a student’s grades are not as high as they would like for them to be, she said.
“This kind of thinking is not healthy since students will typically receive a bad grade at some point in their college career and thus feel unhappy about themselves to a great extent,” Rice said.
Rice said it is important for students to be aware of the state of their mental health so they can be proactive.
Rice said she understands students sometimes feel they do not have time to seek help but said this demonstrates how people prioritize physical health, but not mental health.
“If you were to sprain your ankle, you would probably see a doctor or medical professional,” Rice said. “Typically, you wouldn’t wait and allow for the sprain to worsen. This is how people need to see mental health.”
Sophomore Alyssa Watson struggles with anxiety but said it typically increases during finals week.
“When finals roll around, like many people, I’m suddenly hit with that feeling that I’m completely unprepared, but the anxiety kicks in while I’m trying to study,” Watson said.
She said it is difficult for her to study because her anxiety causes her to be distracted or have panic attacks. That is when Watson said she knows she needs to talk to someone so her anxieties do not become completely unmanageable.
“I talk a lot about my stress and anxiety because I don’t want it to get worse from bottling it up,” Watson said. “Plus, the world’s got to know that it’s OK not to be OK sometimes.”
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