Students stressed about finals find ways to cope


Nicole Schroeder

[dropcap]A[/dropcap]s the end of the school year approaches, many students are feeling the pressure of multiple spring activities. Sporting events, end-of-the-year concerts, the beginning of summer jobs, and family get-togethers are just a few of the worries that plague students during the months of April and May. Add finals to that list, and many begin to feel overwhelmed as they try to find balance between their grades and other commitments.

The stress that high-schoolers feel from final exams is certainly not uncommon, and often affects their physical and mental health during this time of year. This stress, however, portrays itself in many different ways, and the amount of stress one feels as well as the way that they respond to it varies greatly among students. According to a 2013 study by USA Today, the most common outcome from this stress is irritability, with around 40 percent of US teens saying they feel angry or are annoyed more easily when they are stressed. The same article also lists fatigue, headaches, depression, and varying sleeping habits as common problems among stressed teens, and points out that every student will behave differently to deal with added stress.

While this stress varies among teens, however, so do the ways in which people deal with the added pressure. When asked how they cope with added stress during the final weeks of school from exams and other commitments, many students responded:

“I don’t really think that you need to stress out a lot about finals because they’re gonna be over in a month…. Just think about how it’s going to affect you… and prioritize because clearly studying for your math final will be more important than hanging out with your friends on the weekend, but in the long run is it going to be more important than missing your brother’s graduation?” – Sophomore Layton Euliss
“I’d say, if you’re stressed about finals then do something that you really enjoy. If you’re studying and you start to get stressed, take a break from studying and go do something you like for an hour….” – Freshman Jack Flinn
“Really just stop doing what you’re doing at this point and… reflect upon what you’ve done this entire year, and see that you’ve actually accomplished a lot this year. Don’t be so stressed out. And then, I would just say take things really nice and easy, say that you’ve got this, that you can do this, and just tackle things on one step at a time…. You’ve survived this year, [so] you can survive the test.” – Sophomore Mike Pennella
“I deal with my stress either by listening to music or just drawing. [I suggest that people] find something that they like to do or like to have around them, and then they use that while they feel stressed, and then see if their stress is gone.” – Junior Shari Grosz

By Nicole Schroeder