Looking Back: The Stress of Finals Week

By Sarah Wagner

CHATTANOOGA (UTC/The Loop) — The end of the semester is the most stressful part for some UTC students.

The semester’s end is a busy time for professors and students alike. Not only is there course material to finish covering, but also there are final exams to study for. For many students, finals week is the most strenuous week of all.

Beth Thrasher, Chattanooga sophomore, is no exception. “It is the only week consumed with an exam in every single one of your classes,” she said.

The final exam can count for a lot. Kristi Anne Moore, Mt. Juliet, Tenn. freshman, said, “For some people, what they make on their final is the only factor that decides whether they pass or fail the class.” Amber Bowers, Chattanooga sophomore, added, “I’m always scrambling to make sure that I’ve gotten everything I needed to keep or improve the grade I have.”

Scrambling is right. Although most students re aware of the importance of the final exam, it doesn’t stop some from waiting until the last minute to start studying.

Bowers is included in that category. “Like most students, I put off worrying about tests until I have to, “ she said. “So the week before (finals) makes me have to cut back on sleep in order to get everything I need done.” Thrasher, however, has a positive outlook on the last minute cramming. She said the stress helps her accomplish all of her tasks.

In many classes, the final isn’t the only thing students have to worry about at the end of the semester. Most professors at UTC hand out a syllabus at the beginning of the semester telling what they plan to cover during the course. When the semester is coming to an end, any tests, quizzes, or projects not given yet could get squeezed into the final class periods.

Bowers said most professors plan to go by their syllabi because their tests are similar each semester. So even if they are running out of time, “they are (still) eager to keep it very standardized.” Moore added that many of her professors would just omit what they were unable to cover if it isn’t too crucial to the overall course.

With finals week just around the corner, some might wonder how students are dealing with the added stress. Many just study a lot. Some take long runs to clear their minds. Moore said her and her friends “reward” themselves by going out for ice cream. Lorraine Norris, Atlanta senior, said, “I drink lots of coffee, eat quick snacks, and wish that I had that machine from ‘A Clockwork Orange’ that kept your eyes open.”