The final straw: End-of-semester stress

By Jamie Bowen , Staff Writer

Archana Subbiah is a senior in biomedical engineering and, like most students, does not like the end of the semester because of the stress of finals.

Last semester during Finals Week, Subbiah would enter the Merrill Engineering Building at 9 a.m. and wouldn’t leave until 2 a.m., she said.

“It’s stressful,” she said. She and many other students find the stress of finals to be hard to handle and often sacrifice their sleep and health during that week.

Brett Curtis, a senior in organization communication, said he stays up until 2:30 a.m. and wakes up at 6:30 a.m. at least two days during Finals Week. He said the stress and lack of sleep often give him headaches.

Of the top 10 reasons students get poor grades, the top two are stress and sleep difficulties, according to the U health promotion and education office.

“We see a lot of students with a lot of problems,” said Elizabeth Craig, a health educator. “They come in because they are sleepy.”

In light of all the stress, many students also turn to high doses of caffeine or junk food to help them stay awake during finals. Subbiah said she likes to eat burritos at the Mexican restaurant Betos on 400 South to keep her awake during Finals Week.

Students need to watch their intake because too much caffeine can result in a crash, Craig said.

Students should be getting anywhere from seven to eight hours of sleep a night, especially during finals, she said. Staying up all night doesn’t really help because then students can’t retain the information, she said.

Craig said students should do some sort of physical stress reliever during Finals Week, whether it’s exercise, yoga or anything else physical. Students should stick to their normal studying habits.

Also, if the students are sick with the flu, they should talk to their professors and take the test another time, Craig said.

“They need to focus on getting well,” she said.

For more information on good health habits during finals, contact the health promotion and education office at 801-581-8114.

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Julian Gomez/The Daily Utah Chronicle

Students spend their Saturday preparing for Finals Week in the Marriott Library. During finals, many students eat poorly and sleep less, resulting in a lot of students getting sick.