Keeping grades high, stress low

By Jermaine Pigee

Students having to balance work with school feel the pressure increase as finals near.

Colleen Wojcik, an undeclared sophomore, works late nights as a bartender at Starbusters. Wojcik has managed to find a way to juggle her responsibilities.

“Finding the time to finish up last-minute papers and study is key,” Wojcik said. “For me, that means grabbing some food and chowing down in front of my computer, trying not to spill crumbs on my keyboard. I try to fit in my work during any free time I have during the day.”

Wojcik, who has to work during finals week, tends to find that accumulating time to sleep can be a hassle.

“We are required to work finals week at Buster’s,” Wojcik said. “It gets hectic and tricky, but in the end, school has to come first, which usually means it comes before sleep.”Tara Terchin, a senior sociology major, believes time management is key as finals approach.

“Budgeting time is your best bet. I’m not too good at it, but I do my best work under pressure,” Terchin said. “I lifeguard for the NIU pools, but we have so much down time because no one knows we even have pools, so no one comes in. We can get some homework and studying done there.”Veronica Dietrich, a senior journalism and media studies major, thinks it would be difficult to balance work and studying during finals week, which is part of the reason she’s concentrating on classes.

“It’s going to be very hard. I graduate in May and I’ve never been so busy with school,” Dietrich said. “I will pull a lot of all-nighters and drink a lot of coffee. I think I would fail out of school if I worked. I have a heavy course load.”

Senior psychology major Alyssa Banks believes the best way to overcome a heavy course load is to stay organized.

“It helps to be really organized. At the beginning of the semester, I typed out a list of all of my assignments in each class and when they are due,” Banks said. “At the beginning of each week, I look and see what is due. A lot of stuff gets done the night before it’s due, but that always motivates me to get it done.”There are several ways for students to avoid and deal with stress during this time of year, health educator Steve Lux said.

“Students should prepare for finals now and plan out their study days now,” Lux said. “Students should also eat well, get on a good schedule, take short breaks, spend time outside and avoid overdoing caffeine before a test.”

Students better prepared to deal with stress are more likely to perform better, Lux said.

“Some students find ways to deal with stress,” Lux said. “Those students find a way to deal with the stress before it gets heavy. Those students do things like doing their work over a period of time rather than wait until the last minute.”