It’s crunch time.
If there is any time for students to become overwhelmed during the semester, it is now with final projects and exams being right around the corner.
Students at UC are feeling the stress, but they are trying to push through to finish strong and have advice for others.
“I feel it; I feel overwhelmed,” said senior Giang Ngo. “I don’t know how to balance the time, work and life, you know? It’s hard to prioritize. I need to relax and really make a plan.”
Ngo takes breaks when she becomes too stressed. She said students should have a balance between preparing for the extra work at the end of the semester and relaxing.
“I think you should have a good schedule and plan and stay on top of the game,” Ngo said. “At the beginning of the semester, we have more time, but now we don’t have much time. Study and then relax, don’t play on your phone when you study.”
Ngo had advice for other students experiencing the same heavy workloads and feelings of stress.
“Even when it’s late, don’t stress out,” she said. “Just do as much as you can. Don’t think too much, just do it. If you need help, just go to your professor or tutor.”
Mental health counselor Brittany Higgins said that students coming in to discuss high levels of stress is “very much so a theme.”
“Students come in feeling overwhelmed, maxed out, at their limit, unsure about their future,” Higgins said.
Higgins tells students to make their emotional and physical health a priority, no matter how busy they become.
“I talk to students often about making sure that even in stressful times, they take breaks,” Higgins said. “That really looks different based on the individual. It might be taking a walk because the sun is shining. Making sure they are getting adequate sleep and their nutritional needs met.”
Higgins also encourages students to reach out to other resources, such as professors and tutors.
Maintaining healthy habits, such as eating breakfast and getting exercise is important at the end of the semester. The counselors recommend that students ensure that they are getting enough vitamin D, which helps fight off feelings of depression.
“It’s less about taking out the two hours to go to the gym,” Higgins said. “Maybe it’s about five minutes of taking a longer way to go to class. It’s about being intentional.”
The healthy lifestyle changes do make a positive difference for students.
“I see a lot of students that come in that are overly stressed,” Higgins said. “And they started sleeping more and eating breakfast and they come back and say they are doing better.”
The words “stressed” and “overwhelmed” seem to be buzzwords among students in April.
“I’m already there,” said sophomore Oumou Cisse. “It’s too much, the end of the school year. All the finals are coming up.”
Cisse has ways of reducing the stress to help her focus.
“I try to destress,” Cisse said. “Like, when I’m done studying and I know it’s getting too much I try to take a walk, watch something that will make me smile, something that will put me in a good mood.”
Positive thinking is important for students to maintain during this stressful time of the semester.
“I take time to reflect on things, and sometimes give myself a pep talk that everything is going to be OK,” Cisse said.
Students need to realize that the results of a project, test or exam will not define them.
“My advice would be don’t overthink too much, everything is going to be okay,” Cisse said. “It’s not the end of the world. If you put hard work into it, it’s going to be okay.”
Sabra Warner is a sophomore in the nursing major, and she said that she is feeling a little overwhelmed with the looming finals. But Warner has a plan to overcome the stress.
“When I’m really stressed, I just take a step back from my work, then do yoga or do something that helps me relax,” Warner said. “Then I come back to the work with a fresh set of eyes.”
Warner suggests students stay organized to reduce stress levels.
“Make sure you’re planning out your day well,” she said. “Use a planner or Post-it Notes. I use Post-it Notes to plan out what time I have to do a certain thing.”
Exercise is also important in promoting physical health and feelings of well-being. Warner said that she takes a walk when she is stressed.
“I’m feeling overwhelmed,” said junior Jaron Wallace, who was multitasking by trying to study for a test while working on a paper and other small projects. “It’s a lot of assignments, but I also have been procrastinating a little, so I guess that adds to my stress.”
Each student finds a way to deal with the pressure.
“When I’m really stressed, I call someone or take a walk,” Wallace said. “Sometimes I like to look at dog videos; they cheer me up.”
Wallace knows the importance of taking breaks.
“Definitely find something that suits you and calms you down when you’re feeling stressed,” he said. “Because you don’t want it to boil over. Find a way to control it, like an activity.”