You may think college is all fun but this week, the fun has gone out the window.
“Busy, stressful, tiring. Struggle, studying, and just difficult.”Words used to describe finals week, as said by UT students
It’s the time of year when students have one last chance to show what they’ve learned during the past semester.
“Everybody, it seems like, realizes they need the grade,” said freshman Mason Goodrich.
Laptops, notebooks, and endless cups of coffee litter common areas. Study spaces serve as ground zero for dedicated groups.
“It actually feels a lot better on campus because everyone’s stressed like we’re all doing this together,” explained sophomore Brianna Kiernan. “Having that group mentality is a lot better than just being alone in your room and studying.”
For freshman Will Baldwin, finals serve as a reminder that high school is behind him.
“I’m used to not having to study in high school for an exam and I never have until now. I don’t know what to expect in my first exam. It’s a whole new experience for me.”
Meanwhile, Kiernan is building on previous experience.
Students aren’t the only ones sharing advice. Staff members say they’re trying to keep up the morale, too, by providing resources and encouragement.
“Setting up spaces that are designated study spaces that are here on campus,” explained Todd Cox, Program Director Outreach & Initiatives, the Office of the Dean of Students. “Put out things like coffee, which is super important as we get into these final moments. Our counseling center, they’re still here. They are still open. We are still here to support you in whatever that support might look like.”
That support also stems into the Knoxville community as a whole as students say understanding and patience can go a long way.
“Just text and check up and say ‘Hey, I’m here for you’ or ‘I hope things go well’,” said Kiernan.
Finally, when it comes to advice for fellow students, there’s just one thing left to say.
Parents have a part to play in finals week, too. Both students and staff suggest finding a balance between being there for your student without hovering over them. Meaning, make sure your student knows you’re there for them, but perhaps don’t call every hour.
Care packages are another way you can show support. Several websites offer customizable packages that can be shipped and delivered to students, both on and off campus.