Kat Chats prepares students for finals week stress


Kodee Walls, psychologist at Counseling Services, gave students tips during Tuesday’s Kat Chats meeting on ways to combat stress as final exams draw closer.

Walls first had students make a list of finals-related items and tasks that are especially stressful for them. Then, students identified which ones are within their control and which ones they have no power over.

“It was helpful to make the list about what our stressors are,” Danny Faust, sophomore in finance, said. “Writing it out and separating what you’re stressed about into different parts made those things seem a lot more simple.”

With the help of worksheets and lists of tactics and enjoyable activities to do in times of stress, students identified areas of improvement to successfully get through finals week.

“Knowing the negative ways you cope with stress can help you avoid them and think of positive coping strategies instead,” Walls said. “If you have plenty of positive ways, those can be outlets to relax with between studying.”

Walls took students’ examples of negative methods of coping and suggested healthier alternatives, or coping mechanisms.

“I’m not very good at dealing with stress, so putting it out into steps of how I can handle things was very helpful,” Erin Klehm, junior in social work, said. “Seeing the list of coping mechanisms, I realized I use some of the bad ones, and figuring out how to change that and cope in better ways was a big help.”

Students ended with creating action plans to sketch out what their finals week will look like and what they aim to accomplish by its end using healthy coping mechanisms.

“Poor time management and procrastination can also sabotage our success,” Walls said. “We all have 24 hours in the day, but sometimes it seems like it’s never enough. We need to look at how we manage our time and how we can do that more effectively so we ourselves can be more effective.”

Kat Chats will resume as scheduled after winter break. Recordings of the Kat Chats presentations from this semester are available on the K-State Counseling Services webpage.