By Paige Duane
The holidays have arrived! Get ready to deck the halls with boughs of holly and hang stockings by the chimney with care. From ice skating to caroling, there are a variety of activities to inspire cheer and gratitude in the winter months. The festivities are sure to raise anyone’s spirits in this dreary part of the year, right? Right?
Though many view the holidays as an opportunity to be merry and gather with family, students everywhere approach the month of December with dread. Finals are just around the corner, bringing with it feelings of existentialism and impending doom. Over 80% of students report feeling overwhelming stress this time of year, the most common stressor being finals.
Beyond just disrupting the holiday atmosphere, finals take a physical toll on students. From migraines to stomachaches, many ailments occur as physiological results of finals week. Most impacted is the sleeping patterns of students. Late night study sessions and homework tax students’ sleep, leaving them exhausted. A lack of sleep makes students more susceptible to a variety of maladies, including viruses, nausea, migraines, and fluctuations in weight. Sleeplessness contributes to neurological issues as well, such as paranoia, depression, and anxiety, which add to the stresses of finals week.
Without a doubt, finals eclipse the good tidings of the season. However, there are measures that can be taken to counteract the pressure of finals week. On campus, many resources are available for students to help cope with stress. The Wellness Center Provides students with a safe space to process their emotions. Additionally, consulting teachers and counselors can help ease the anxieties prompted by finals. Finals may be daunting, but trusting oneself and utilizing resources minimizes their negative effects.