Students beat finals with fun
Biolans find unique ways to keep calm during finals week. | Jordan Wilson/THE CHIMES
For most students, finals week means pressure and pain — but everyone needs to cope somehow. With a little creativity, Biola students can find unique, fun ways to stay healthy and happy in the midst of their stress.
a game show kind of thing
Before finals, students often anticipate the nerves that come with exams, projects and papers. For many, these assignments determine their grades, which drastically increases the level of pressure. As a result, positive mental preparation is a must. This can take the form of intense study time or a healthy dose of fun — perhaps even both.
“I stock up on snacks and I do study groups with people in the same class, notably my sister,” said Callie McGill, junior computer science major. “It’s like a game show kind of thing, so we make a game out of studying.”
McGill uses an app that includes a sound effect button so she can create a fun activity with her study group. After making flashcards for the material, they organize their study questions like a game show, and the winner receives a prize.
“There’s a lot of research done on gamification, that is, taking tasks that you don’t really want to do and the benefit of making them fun,” McGill said. “For example, when a parent wants a child to clean their room, they make a game out of it…The brain is designed in such a way where that makes things better. It’s about finding the fun in wherever you can.”
During finals, students try to find small ways to relieve stress while simultaneously surviving their classes. Some go on late-night food runs or complete coloring books. Others listen to empowering soundtracks to find motivation. These techniques can range from quirky or exciting to just plain relaxing.
“I have bubble wrap on my closet door, and whenever I feel stressed I pop it,” said Ei Meren Acierto, senior intercultural studies major.
A positive outlet
In addition, sports and other athletic activities can be doubly beneficial for stress relief, as they target both the body and the mind. Studies have shown that exercise is a positive outlet for stress relief, often recommended by psychologists and doctors. Whether Biolans find their athletic fix in a basketball game or a quick jog, a bit of action can bring a lot of energy. Though these methods may be simple, they can provide valuable moments of joy in a time that often tests a student’s will.
“I believe that, as Christians, or just as humans in general, we should not only be productive and work, but also rest,” Acierto said. “Every day, we should find the little things that we know will make us happy and make us calm, and relieve anxiety and pressure for just a few short moments.”
During critical times of work or study, it is important to remember to care for oneself. A few minutes spent combating stress can add up to a significantly brighter outlook overall.
“Just surround yourself with people who can pray for you and who can encourage you,” Acierto said. “And always find time, even in the middle of the day, to just rest and take a breather. Whether it would be taking a quick walk around campus, or just sitting down somewhere with your favorite music, or even doing devotions in the morning or whenever you can.”