How to survive the end of the semester by navigating burnout, stress, finals

Some students are overwhelmed to come back to school and miss home and family that they saw over Thanksgiving break. With there being two more weeks after the break, staying on top of classes and studying for finals is hard to keep up with, but there are many ways to reduce the stress through working out, calling family members and hanging out with friends. Miki Akiyama | Sun News Daily

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Students keeping up with heavy workloads all while fighting for their lives preparing for finals can be an intense period and cause troubling emotions and behaviors.

As deadlines come closer, anxiety can creep up quickly. Students and professors all feel the weight as the end is nearing, and taking care of one’s mental and physical health can be crucial.

Kellie Marin, an assistant professor of communication, said: “I schedule everything, whether that be downtime or prepping for classes. It’s going to be stressful, so schedule time so you can make sure to hit the gym or do whatever you need to take off the stress.”

Students do not need to feel alone because everyone is anticipating the month-long break. Professors also are rushing around trying to prepare for their classes’ finals and last class periods.

Trisha Johnson, an intern from the Booth Wellness Center, said there are plenty of stresses that can be a part of getting ready for the holidays. Some examples of stress could be affording Christmas gifts for loved ones, studying for classes or battling seasonal depression.

Johnson said college students can effectively manage their time and prioritize tasks to prevent burnout before the holidays by taking a few minutes every day to go over tasks as well as creating appropriate boundaries and sticking to them.

“Self-care is the most important, so have a self-care plan and stick to it,” Johnson said. “Reaching out to family and friends is good practice when feelings of stress start to get overwhelming.”

The last few weeks of a semester can make or break a student’s grades in classes. The semester may wind down but the workload may not for certain individuals.

Laboratory instructor David Bean said when he was a biology major, he focused on staying consistent with studying and taking mental breaks as needed.

When Bean was a full-time student, he would average around 13 hours of work each day leading up to finals. The workload was intense and heavy for him, and the class assignments didn’t seem to budge as the last few weeks started to count down. He said what got him through was not trying to push down his emotions.

“I had to learn to allow myself to feel my emotions and stop fighting it,” Bean said. “Sometimes we just need to call our moms and cry a little, but it’s always important to pick yourself up and start grinding.”

Bean expressed the importance of not being afraid to ask questions, visiting professors during their office hours, and showing your professors you’re putting in the work so they will want to help you more.

“Just do your best,” Bean said. “Right now, it’s like hell week. Remember that it’s not always going to be this insane. Push through it and take care of yourself as much as you can.”

In times of overwhelming stress or suicidal thoughts, reach out to the Booth Wellness Center or call the Suicide & Crisis Lifeline at 988.