As finals week quickly approaches, students at St. Michael’s gear up for nerve-wracking end of the semester in their own fashion. There are many different ways to prepare such as study guides, organization, tutoring, and St. Michael’s college provides small events during finals week. Whether it’s grabbing a cup of coffee or hot chocolate to talk with other students, or making cookies and food. There are quiet hours within the school to help students have more time to study in peace.
“Students usually tell me that they feel a lot less stressed and anxious in an exam when they feel that they have prepared well ahead of time so that preparation really reduces the stress and anxiety,” said Peer-Tutor Coordinator, Dina Alsaffar. Students need to prepare for the stress, lack of sleep, and mental strength to keep going as the week unfolds itself.
Students around campus take different approaches to mentally prepare and handle the stress of finals. “I’m going to organize my materials as well as go through my notes from all of my classes and make study guides,” Maggie Dockray ’26 said. Study guides seem to be a common theme that students like Dockray have brought from highschool to college, as she used to make them for every test. Depending on the professor, finals define a good portion of the course’s overall grade. “I plan on studying for the finals about a week before,” Dockray said.
For some the difference in studying comes from what graduating class the student is in. Paulina Valentine ’23, has gone through three years of college finals and has learned that studying far in advance changes her outcome. “I have already started studying for my first exam which is in two weeks. I like using the library, going in and grabbing a quiet section or room and allowing around two hours a day to stay focused and stick to a schedule about what I need to study,” Valentine said.
Alsaffar works with students to enhance time management skills, study skills, and test taking habits. “My job is actually split into two parts, the first part being the peer tutoring coordinator, so I work directly with professors and students to coordinate tutors for the majority of classes that happen here,” Alsaffar said. “The second part is the academic support aspect.”
The pandemic had a big impact on students academically and in other ways. Students must figure out the best way for them to study and get help if needed. Students can get tutors from the school, mental health services and student health services. “I would say there is an improvement this year compared to the first year that I’ve been here, a lot of students are getting back in the habit of doing school how it’s meant to be done, but I definitely think it did hit a lot especially if there were students coming from high school into college,” Alsaffar said.
Reaching out to places on campus like the Peer Tutoring Center or Bergeron can relieve some of the stress that finals can create. Some centers around campus like Resident Life or Purposeful Learning host events for students to come and take a break. During this anxiety-inducing time, it is important to remember to balance, taking breaks while also dedicating time to academics.