It’s the most stressful time of the year

Rachel Lies of KSU Counseling Services gives valuable advice on managing time, stress, and studying during finals week. The lecture took place in Leasure Hall on April 28, 2015. (Nicholas Cady | The Collegian)

Finals week, the most dreaded time of year for many college students, is rapidly approaching. K-State Counseling Services, however, is ready to help.

Monday afternoon, students gathered in Leasure Hall to listen to Rachel Lies, a licensed marriage and family therapist with Counseling Services, as she discussed four areas college students tend to struggle with the most during finals weeks: time management, test anxiety, stress management and self-care.

“I’m usually the most stressed out when I feel like I haven’t really prepared,” Naomi Stout, freshman in communication sciences and disorders, said.

Lies provided students with a variety of tips and tricks for better managing their time and study habits. She suggested that even taking 15 minutes between activities in a busy schedule to do something constructive can make a huge difference.

Lies also offered advice on how to prepare for a test and ward off anxiety. This included getting adequate amounts of sleep and creating study goals.

Matthew Thompson, junior in business, said his biggest struggle throughout finals is always managing his stress.

“I feel like I’m constantly overwhelmed going into finals and then it reflects in some of my test grades,” Thompson said.

According to Lies, however, moderate levels of stress can actually be good for students because they act as motivators to get things done. The problem comes when the stress goes from encouraging productivity to being overwhelming and too much to handle.

Common signs of too much stress include irritability, difficulty concentrating, lack of sleep and in some cases an increase in substance use. Lies said when students become too stressed, they reach a point where they burn out and then nothing gets done.

“Taking care of your body and practicing self-care is one of the best things a student can do,” Lies said. “Take a walk or get some sunlight to make yourself feel better.”

Although this time of year can be a rough for many students campuswide, listening to Lies’ advice may help to significantly reduce your amount of stress and anxiety. If you’re feeling like your sinking, however, check out the K-State Counseling Services webpage to learn about more ways to stay afloat during finals week.