If you’re reading this, it’s time for the semester to end already

Many college students are stressed about the end of the semester, with all of the upcoming final projects, portfolios and exams to be turned in. Is there more that can be done to reduce end-of-semester anxiety?

It is important for professors to remember that students have lives outside of school. To help students manage stress in the final weeks of the semester, professors could check in with each of their students personally to make sure that they’re on track and comfortable with where they are in the class, as well as advise students on how to prepare for final assignments. 

Students should be acknowledged for the hard work they put in to pass their exams and do well in their courses. Professors should take notice of which of their students are going the extra mile to try to pass or raise their grades, and should take those efforts into consideration when reporting their final grades.

Because it’s the end of the semester, I feel that professors should be a bit more lenient with their students regarding late assignments, as long as students have shown that they’re fully capable of submitting when told to do so. 

Each professor has a different format for their final exam. Some give written tests, while others may assign final presentations or ask students to create portfolios of the different assignments that they completed over the course of the semester. Regardless of which format professors choose for final exams and assignments, they should provide a significant amount of information (i.e helpful study guides/instructions) so that we have the tools necessary to be successful and achieve the highest possible grade.

My personal experience during the first semester of this school year was not the best. I’ve felt very overwhelmed by everything I need to get done for each class that I take. Some classes require more time and attention than others because of the workload. During the last couple of weeks of the fall semester, I have been racing to make sure all of my academic ducks in a row, and I am overwhelmed with anxiety. I try to manage my stress by taking walks in nature, getting enough sleep, drinking water and practicing other forms of self-care.

In my time here at Guilford, I’ve noticed that the school will host small activities or events just before exam week to try to help students relax. For example, on Dec.13, there will be a late night student pancake breakfast. The flyer for the event encourages students to “take a late night study break & enjoy breakfast prepared by faculty and staff in the dining hall.” I’m sure that there are other end-of-semester activities, but because this event had to do with food, it definitely caught my attention.

It’s both comforting and concerning to know that I’m not the only one who feels this stress. If we give professors a bit of insight into student mental health during exams, they might begin to think of strategies to help reduce this stress, which would benefit future students.