Counseling Center helps students defeat exam stress

By Quinton R. Arthur

Staff Reporter

During final exams, many students deal with stress factors that make it difficult to do their best. Whether the stressor is the number of exams or the work that goes into preparing, the Counseling Center has advice and events that help students better cope going into the week.

Kusha G. Murarka, Assistant Director and Training Coordinator knows that a number of factors impact student performance.

“My number one piece of advice is to do the preparation and studying ahead of time,” says Murarka. “Many students deal with procrastination, which is a form of stress. The avoidance of trying to do the work is actually more stressful than the actual work itself.”

According to documentation provided by the Counseling Center, procrastination involves putting off a task that we have decided is important or beneficial to accomplish due to anxiety. A number of factors go into causing procrastination, such as fear of failure, perfectionism or ambiguity, to name a few. The best way to deal with it is by understanding what is presented, setting the task into smaller steps and taking healthy, rewarded breaks.

Time management is an essential skill that students need to master. Often, students feel that there is not enough time to study, but by making a schedule of activities, it is clear to see where time can be made. Another important factor of time management is prioritizing. By working on the most important and strenuous thing first, students can free time to do smaller and simpler things. Lastly, understanding the importance of breaks can relieve stress.

“A lot of students believe studying non-stop and burning the midnight oil is the best way to approach exams,” Murarka states. “But the best thing is to take breaks and give yourself small rewards, such as lunch with a friend.”

Lastly, rest can impact how well a student does on an exam.

“The two nights before have the greatest impact on how you perform on an exam,” says Mararka.

In an effort to contribute to the holistic well-being of a student, the Counseling Center has hosted “Mindfulness Sessions” this semester. The sessions are led by Counseling Center staff and focus on education, techniques and strategies to deal with daily stressors. There are two more sessions scheduled for Nov. 19 and Dec. 3. The sessions are held in the Auditorium Building room 244 from 12:15-1:00 p.m.
In addition, the Counseling Center is holding their Annual De-Stress Fest. The event is held the week before final exams, which provides students with opportunities to relax before finals. The event will feature Therapy Dogs, which was popular among students last year.  

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