Brace yourselves: Finals are coming

Finals are upon us and students from every year and major are feeling the pressure. As crucial as doing well on exams is, it is also important to minimize stress in order to have a successful end to the semester. 

According to the 2015 National College Health Assessment, over 30 percent of college students reported stress has negatively affected their academic performance this school year. More than 85 percent of students have felt overwhelmed by their schedules and responsibilities at some point within the past year.

Well, duh. 

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment is only recently down from 10 percent to just over five. Business Insider reported the cost of living in the U.S. is between $30,000 and almost $50,000 per year. Meanwhile, the average postgraduate salary with Bachelor’s degree is just over $44,000, as reported by TIME.

And to top it all off, you need perfect grades, a handwritten recommendation letter from Father Time and the luck of the Irish to get into a decent graduate program.

Finals week is an accurate representation of the weight such expectations place on college students. Just go to the library any night this week and you’ll be surrounded by students chugging their fifth cup of Starbucks coffee and fighting the overwhelming urge to sleep — or cry. 

People are flocking to every quiet corner of campus to try to tackle the last workload of the semester and often give up precious hours of sleep and good eating habits in favor of spending more time studying and completing final projects. 

Countless studies have shown the negative effects of finals week stress, but USF has many programs and events to help students survive the end of term. The Marshall Student Center (MSC) has transformed into the Marshall Study Center in order to counteract the many negative consequences associated with this week. 

Not only does the MSC now have extended hours, it is allowing students to reserve study rooms to have a quiet place for group sessions. USF also seems to have realized the deplorable eating habits adopted during finals and are offering a plethora of discounts, and free food so students can attempt to stay healthy while cramming for the last exams. 

A variety of professors are hosting final reviews in the MSC to gift students with the last information needed for exams. USF’s wellness center offers free massages, too. 

When you are completely fed up with being stuck inside the library for 11 hours straight, consider heading over to one of the several study sessions held at serene locations like Castor Beach or the nearby Riverfront Park. 

Stress is a serious issue and should not be taken lightly. A variety of groups on campus are hosting meditation sessions and yoga classes to teach students how to relieve some of the stress in their lives. It’s absurd that students are making themselves phsyically ick to complete all of their assignments.

Yes, school is important and it is imperative that you succeed on your final exams. But you should do everything in your power to reduce the stress this week. Will you end up pulling an all-nighter in the library? Probably. 

But making sure you stay hydrated and eat nutritious foods instead of a package of Pop-Tarts will greatly improve your functionality in the final leg of our academic marathon.

Take advantage of the many resources available this week and knock these exams out of the park. 


Breanne Williams is a junior majoring in mass communications.