Final Exams Need Not Cause Stress

Apparently final exams are so stressful for some college students that student groups at various universities offer de-stressors like therapy dogs, Play-Doh, and Legos.

The College Fix:

Christopher Carey, director of student activities at Temple University, told The College Fix via email that the offerings aided students in several ways.

“It’s a great opportunity for students to enjoy the spring weather and have fun with their friends prior to finals week. The second benefit is that we partner with a class in the School of Sport, Tourism, and Hospitality Management so that those students gain some practical event planning experience,” he said.

Carey said Camp TU was a success.

“The event went very well. While we don’t have an exact total, we are estimating around 2,000 students. I can say with certainty that students had a lot of fun. If having fun helped them relieve some stress or unwind a bit, that is great, too,” he said.

Legitimate stress ought to be relieved in order to prevent burnout, and I’m sure these “de-stressing” events are effective at doing so. I have nothing against them in principle. But as a college student myself, I’m well aware that students tend to get too worked up over final exams.

The makeup of a final exam typically depends on the professor, but the vast majority of the finals I have taken in college were not cumulative. They covered only the material taught after the mid-term.

If you just show up to class on time, actively listen to the lecture, take solid notes (which partly includes not writing down everything the professor says), do the necessary assignments, and take five minutes each day to review your notes, there’s hardly an excuse not to do well in the class, let alone on the final exam.

Every time I followed that criteria for a particular class, I never had to carve out time to study for the final, and I always received an A or A- as my final grade. None of it requires any extra willpower or intelligence.

If you’re stressed out over a final exam, then you’re probably not as organized or disciplined as you could be. But hey, college is a great environment to become more organized and disciplined. Better to learn it now than at a full-time job.

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