Under pressure

Students and staff open up about how they study and manage their stress.

By Kayla Canterbury


     Junior criminal justice and psychology major at the University of Findlay Alyssa McDonald is feeling the same as many other UF students. Stressed. As the final week of classes approaches at the University of Findlay, students are busy studying for their final exams while also trying to survive the rest of the semester.

            “I have a presentation to prepare for, a group project, a research paper, and on top of all that, exams,” McDonald said. This is not unusual for the end of the semester, as the hours of work become longer and the classes become harder.

            Dr. Jaymelee Kim, forensic science professor at UF, offers some helpful hints for students who may be stressed in the coming weeks.

            “I always encourage students to start studying far in advance,” Kim said. “It is important to engage with information repeatedly over time. When cramming just days before, less information is committed to long term memory.”

This means students will rely more on memory rather than learning the material.

Junior forensic biology major Krissy Johnson agrees that studying in advance can only help. She says that even looking over information for 15 minutes at a time can help.

Kim added that for some students, studying in a group setting can be beneficial.

“If you can teach a concept or method to another person, you have a thorough understanding of it,” Kim said.

            McDonald agrees that studying with others can be helpful, but it is different for each individual. Some students may retain information better in a silent room and others may learn more when they’re around others. There are benefits to both group and individual studying.

            Kim adds that apart from studying, students should pay attention to their mental and physical health during this time.

            “There may also be traps that we fall into that are unhealthy, and it is important to be mindful of those traps,” Kim said. “It is easy to overwork and burnout.”

She emphasizes the importance of being self-aware and assures that it is okay to take breaks or take a nap. Listening to your body is an important part of your physical and mental wellbeing.

            “Something I’ll do is I’ll either listen to music or I’ll take a break and watch Tik Toks and just give myself an hour or so to relax,” McDonald said.

Johnson also notes the importance of relaxing at times, saying that she likes to get a milkshake from the RIG or watch television when not studying.

“Don’t lose sight of the bigger picture,” Kim said. “Yes, they [exams] are, and can be, important, but there is no need to put extensive pressure on yourself.”

She adds that this advice is very relevant now as we are struggling with a global pandemic. There is no need to stress over something that, in essence, is such a small part of life.

There are multiple ways to stay healthy during exam season including proper nutrition and sleep.

            McDonald says keep one thought in mind.  

            “We’re almost done!”

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