UM students share what helps them during finals week

Rowan Ryan
Oxford Stories

You’ve kept your grades high enough to keep yourself off social probation, kept your parents satisfied, and you feel confident about your future. But now it’s crunch time – the ultimate test of what you have absorbed all semester long.

“Finals week is, by far, one of the most stressful times for students, teaching assistants and professors,” Megan Jones, a Spanish teaching assistant said.

Freshmen are panicking at their first go-round of college exams. Seniors are crying at the thought of adulthood being just a handful of finals away, and teachers are pulling their hair out trying to grade finals, calculate potential finals, and respond to every incessant email a student sends.

With the chaos that fills the air on campus, how do students de-stress?

Sophomore Megan Krynen is double majoring in international studies and public policy leadership. She is involved with Delta Delta Delta Sorority, Honors College, ASB Senate, Croft Senate, and Rebelthon. She must balance all this and prepare for six finals this semester.

Even with exceptional grades, “I feel very nervous about finals,” Krynen said. “I start studying about three days in advance for each final, which starts to overlap, and that’s when the stress kicks in.”


Photographed by Rowan Ryan

Krynen’s go-to tactics for de-stressing are “lots of Netflix and snack breaks,” Krynen said. “The key to staying de-stressed though, is to take it one step at a time and spread things out so it’s not so overwhelming. And remember to take care of yourself throughout the week. That means eating, sleeping, showering and social interaction.”

Karthik Kota is a sophomore at the university majoring in biology. Kota is associated with Gamma Beta Phi, Alpha Lambda, and the men’s club soccer team.

Kota cut out a whole week of prep time to study for his four finals this semester. “I’m quite nervous for organic chemistry and chemistry,” Kota said.

Kota said another key to success is to “keep up with your classes all semester. Don’t let finals catch up to you.” If you need to stay up a little longer, then do it, but don’t sacrifice too much sleep and go for hours on end without a little break.”

Alongside this, Kota is also a biology teaching assistant. “In essence, I have to take care of 40 people’s grades for that class. I have to grade their papers, as well as calculate their final grades without mistake,” Kota said. “I am always quick to respond to the students though because I know how stressful this time can be.”


Photographed by Rowan Ryan.

Carrying the panic of worried students and the stress of his own finals on his shoulders, Kota finds relief in de-stressing by “taking walks in between study sessions and going on runs.”

Senior accounting major Jack Luckie has experienced many stressful exam times. Being involved in Kappa Alpha Fraternity and Coaching For Literacy, Luckie has learned how to manage his time in and out of the classroom.

By now, Luckie has gotten his system down to a science. “I know how much time I need to prepare, how I absorb the information best, and overall what works best for me,” he said.


Photographed by Rowan Ryan

With his final run through fall finals at the university, Luckie has four to prepare for. “I take about three days per final to feel fully prepared,” he said, “and whenever I am feeling overwhelmed, I take a break to workout or sleep.”

Luckie suggests preparing in advance for all your finals and focusing on the more difficult courses.

“I study more for my accounting courses,” he said. “I’m not sure if it’s because I’m an old pro at this by now, or if I’ve learned how to prepare myself, but I’m not nervous at all.”

So if you didn’t know it before, the secret is out. Fresh air, exercise, sleep, and everything your body needs to survive is what will help get you through this stressful week.

“This week doesn’t have to be stressful,” said Jones. “Do what you need to do to take care of yourself, and you’ll be more than fine.”


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