Apr 242005
Authors: Jennifer Johnson

Another school year is coming to an end, but as exciting as this can be, for many students the last few weeks of school may be the most stressful.

Stephanie Beene, a senior art major, has a chronic case of senioritis and said as a graduating senior these last few weeks are extremely difficult to get through.

"It is definitely hard to stay motivated with so much going on at the end of the year," she said. "There is so much to do and so many projects to work on, as well as things I need to prepare for since I am graduating."

For Beene, de-stressing and preparing for finals is important, so she finds ways to remain focused throughout the last few weeks.

"For me, sleeping helps, as well as going outside when it is nice and spending time with my friends on the weekend," she said. "It is also important to make sure I am always prepared."

For students who may be struggling during these last few weeks, Beene suggests making a daily checklist of things that need to be done and making sure they get completed.

"I think that a checklist definitely helps you stay focused and motivated and also helps with reminding you of what you need to do on a daily basis," she said. "I don't think you can have enough checklists."

Some students turn to resources on campus such as the Center for Advising and Student Achievement or the University Counseling Center, which provides a Stress Management Program, in order to help them prepare for the end of the year. However, Beene said it can be difficult to find the time to utilize these resources.

"Not only are students busy with school work, but advisers and counselors also have to get things done," she said. "It is usually crazy at the end of the year because everything is so hectic."

Linda Stoddard, an academic adviser at CASA, said advisers try their best to urge students to make appointments ahead of time to avoid scheduling conflicts.

"Although we begin to e-mail our students in January urging them to make an appointment to see us early before peak registration begins, the majority of students choose not to do so," she said. "Rather, students choose to wait until registration begins to make an appointment. We are so busy simply because there are not enough hours in the four weeks of registration to see everyone who is assigned to us."

Although some students tend to procrastinate when making advising appointments, Stoddard said a reason is because students are stressed out.

"At this time of year students are more likely to be excited about new living situations in the fall, summer approaching, figuring out which major to declare and registering for fall classes," she said. "For the most part students are prepared and upbeat when they visit our office at the end of the year."

Stoddard said in order to avoid end-of-the-year panic, CASA advisers work with students throughout the year.

"Through e-mails and our one-on-one appointments, we discuss campus resources such as the study skills information available through the Learning Assistance Center, the Natural Sciences tutorial hall, Academic Advancement and others. We also encourage our students to attend all classes, participate during class and ask for assistance if needed," she said.

Stoddard said the end of the year is also a good time to start preparing for the upcoming year.

"We suggest students review the texts they will need from the bookstore, talk with friends about courses they will be taking and consider courses that are required for majors in which they are interested," Stoddard said.

Michelle Stumf, a junior art major, also feels stressed out during the end of the year.

"Everything starts to build up during this time, and since I am a huge procrastinator things can get difficult," she said.

In order to relieve some stress and focus on what needs to be done, Stumf usually calls her mom for advice.

"She definitely has a way of kicking my butt into gear and keeping me motivated and prepared for finals," she said.

Stumf also prepares an everyday checklist, which reminds her of what needs to get done and when.

"I think that it is important for students to start preparing at the beginning of the semester so things won't be as hectic at the end," she said. "Also, students should study for finals beforehand, instead of waiting until the last minute."

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