Students and profs wanna finish the semester strong even though it sucks
Author: Elisabeth Sahlmueller
With a little more than three weeks until final exam mode is here once again, university students and professors are frantically pushing to get that last essay or lecture plan completed. All the organization from the beginning of the semester has unfortunately failed, or is close to doing so. This is a stressful time for both students and professors on different levels.
Ian Germani, a history professor at the University of Regina, summed it up by saying that “the end of the semester is a time of intense activity.”
This is especially true as the majority of students have many essays, quizzes, and presentations left to finish before the winter semester wraps up. With so much to do, it seems overwhelming and puts a lot of stress and pressure on us to accomplish everything.
When asked if professors also feel a lot of stress similar to what the students feel at this time of the semester, Germani told said that they do. He explained that all professors are busy grading assignments and “those involved with graduate or honours supervision are also busy helping students revise their work and meet deadlines. This is stressful because we are aware that students have a lot of hopes and fears riding on these evaluations.”
Even though we are all faced with so much stress, I believe it is important to not let our stress prevent us from doing well. I know this is always easier said than done, but at no other time of the semester is this more important. Everyone has their own method for dealing with stress: going for a run, listening to music, or hanging out with friends. My advice is to do whatever works best for you! When I caught up with first-year student Jacqueline Eckel and asked her how she attempts to reduce stress levels, she told me that she does yoga and cuddles with her dog. She also finds that, “making a detailed calendar with what has to get done helps.”
Some university professors prefer to have a small final quiz rather than a large final exam at the end of the semester. Charisma Thomson, an anthropology professor at the U of R, chose this because she has “done large final exams in the past, but found that most students completed the course, but found no ‘real life’ value in it. The ideas and concepts are only memorized and later forgotten.”
From a student’s perspective, a smaller quiz is great because we can relax a bit and focus more on other classes.
Many students, if asked if they are ready for the semester to be over, would agree with Eckel’s response, “Yes! A thousand times, yes!”
With so much effort and hard work about to be poured into the next few weeks, the idea of a break from it all is exciting.
The end of the semester also feels bittersweet. While many of us are excited for the break, there is also sadness attached to it. We have classes we enjoy going to and professors who have taught us so much and expanded our knowledge, which can make it hard to say goodbye to.
For many students, this semester is their last before graduation and the degrees they’ve worked so hard for will finally be in their hands. Other first-years like myself can be proud of themselves for surviving their first year, despite the struggles along the way.
Hopefully all students’ and professors’ memories of the past semester will not only be about stressful or frustrating times, but also about the determination or effort shown and the successes they’ve had.