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TCU 360

All TCU. All the time.

TCU 360

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Condensed semester, lost week to snowstorm adding to some students stress during finals week

Students study on the Campus Commons in October 2020. Last fall, TCU did not offer a Fall Break after midterms as in previous years. (Heesoo Yang/Staff Photographer)

A second semester without built-in study days is making the last week of classes and exams more difficult for some students.

As part of a condensed semester schedule amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the normal ‘dead days’ of no classes before final exams begin have been eliminated this year.

While the days also did not occur in the fall, some students are struggling to find time to complete their remaining assignments, study for their finals and, for those living on-campus, coordinate their move-out arrangements. 

“I had an essay due Friday night, a final Monday morning followed by three more later in the week, and I have to move out of my dorm before Saturday morning,” said Brooke Mcnulty, a junior communication major. “I have been extremely overwhelmed and think the lack of study days have played a crucial role in my stress.” 

Make-up classes and work from the February snowstorm are also adding to the pressure of a condensed semester. 

Some students feel that the university’s decision to take the few free days away is unfair and will harshly impact their final grades.

“I feel like I constantly need to remind myself to take time to relax and not get too caught up in the workload,” said Hannah Geschke, a junior strategic communication major. “Whenever I feel like the stress is becoming too much I try to either go to the gym or go for a run.”

Helping manage stress

A number of services are being offered by TCU to help students through a stressfull academic time.

Isabella Potts holding a baby pig at Worth Hills Fun Fair. (Photo courtesy of Isabella Potts)

The counseling and mental health center has made efforts to increase resources and mental health awareness through the Virtual Letter of Care Campaign and support groups, leading some students to realize the importance of taking care of themselves physically and mentally.

“Having the majority of my classes online and not having as many reasons to leave my dorm due to the amount of studying I have has caused my stress levels to skyrocket,” said Isabella Potts, a sophomore psychology major. “Luckily, TCU has been planning events to help students briefly take their mind off all the chaos.”

Potts said that TCU is making an effort to make up for the lack of study days by planning events and activities, such as the Worth Hills Fun Fair, the Brett Young concert and the TCU state fair that was put on by Frog Aides. 

Potts added that all these events have been a way for her to relieve stress and safely meet new people around campus.

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