Campus resources available to minimize finals anxiety

With finals approaching, students can use various techniques and campus resources to minimize stress.

Both the Counseling, Testing and Mental Health Center (CTMH) and the Office of Campus Life offer services to students suffering from large amounts of stress.

Campus Life offers services to cope with finals anxiety, said Karen Bell Morgan, assistant dean of campus life.

Bell Morgan said the department encourages students to come talk about stress related to the end of the semester.

“As finals approach, students are sometimes more willing to talk to someone other than their professor about problems in class,” she said.

She said after evaluating the situation, the Office of Campus Life can talk to professors and see if a compromise can be worked out between the student and the professor.

Matt Johnson, a staff psychologist with the CTMH, said one way to deal with stress is to create a side-by-side list of what causes stress and what relieves mental strain.  From that list, the student can see what creates stress and can avoid the triggers whenever possible, he said.

Johnson said that stress is caused by many factors. “Things like poor grades and fear of losing a scholarship also play into the growing stress levels some students suffer going into finals,” he said.

Students can make appointments and participate in outreach programs through the CTMH to help deal with stress, Johnson said.

One tool the center uses is a biofeedback machine, which uses a sensor on the student’s finger to measure his or her heart rate, Johnson said. By using the biofeedback machine, the center can see how much the student’s heart rate varies and then offer tips on how to deal with the stress, he said.

Johnson also said that exercise and hanging out with friends can help lower stress.

Nathan Butorac, a senior marketing and entrepreneurial management double major, said his stress is more closely related to the class projects due before dead days than to finals.

Becca Truderung, a senior accounting major, said some her stress comes from applying to graduate school.

First-year Hanna Mundy and sophomore Griffin Haddad, who are both athletic training majors, associated their stress with certain finals.

Some students have their own methods of reducing stress. Butorac said he sits outside or plays his guitar when he needs a break.

Mundy said the best way to prevent stress is to study ahead of time because, “you only learn it if you study.”