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Finals approach

Often some of the most stressful times for high school students are when exams come around. Whether they are easy or hard, exams are dreaded by seemingly everyone. Once one graduates, a great feeling of freedom is reached. Then it all starts again. This time, it is harder. College exams are stressful times when some fun activities have to be given up to create time to study. It is also at this time, for many classes, that term papers are due. Even though term papers are usually assigned at the beginning of the quarter, many students put them off until the last few weeks of the quarter, when final exams start to roll around. The combination of an always increasing workload at the end of the quarter plus final exams allows students less free time because they are studying more than usual.

In my own experience, in both high school and college, it seems that most people, including myself, put off studying until exams are within sight. That is not to say that there are not students who consistently review throughout the term, but a good number of students are busy doing activities, sports, or clubs on top of their normal workload during the term, so studying for exams is put off. When exams come in sight, many clubs do not meet as much or at all, less people work out or play in the gym, and less time is spent hanging out with friends. More time is spent in the library preparing for exams. The hard worker seems to come out in everybody, and things become more focused on studying.

Similarly, term papers get much more attention towards the end of the quarter. Many classes do not have term papers, but there are a good number that do. Also, even if there is no term paper, many students would agree that somehow the workload still increases in the last couple weeks. Either way, students have to spend more time doing their homework, and less focus is on recreation. For me, it is the term papers that are consuming my time. Two of my classes have them, and I now regret putting them off. Getting an early start would have been a great way to alleviate the added stress at the end of the quarter; however, sometimes it is beneficial to wait until the majority of the material in the class is covered, so that it can be incorporated into the paper. Whichever path is chosen, though, most students put in the extra effort at the end of the quarter and get it all done.

All in all, pretty much no matter what is done, there is an added work load towards the end of the quarter. Exams and papers creep up quickly, and consume an extra amount of that free time that we all wish we had more of. Strategies to reduce this added stress include studying throughout the term, reviewing consistently, and working on papers throughout the term, doing a little every couple of days. Some students use these strategies, others do not. Regardless, everyone makes it out alive. K offers nice, long breaks between terms, too, which are greatly appreciated. Not too long after break starts students are ready to get back to school, which seems odd, I know, but the atmosphere and activities at K are worth the studying.

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About Emerson Talanda-Fisher ʼ15

Emerson is a sophomore from Kalamazoo, Michigan, studying Economics. While he hails from the West side of the state, he happens to be a big Detroit sports fan. When not in the classroom, he spends much of his time at practice or games for the Kalamazoo College menʼs soccer team. Needless to say, he already loves the new athletic facilities.