Online Exclusive Poll: USF students need better stress management

Ideally, we would all begin peacefully studying three weeks before the final. Yet every semester, most of us fall victim to stress, succumbing to the way it cyclones your whole life. According to U.S. News and World Report, 89% of college students experience stress during exam season. If not managed well, that stress can spill into all aspects of one’s life.

The Foghorn conducted a poll through Fizz, an anonymous college campus social media app where users must have a “@dons.usfca.edu” email address to become a member. The Foghorn asked, “Do you have an effective strategy to cope with finals stress?” The poll received 1,443 votes, with a margin of error of +/-2%. 64% of students (912 votes) responded “No.” Another 25% (367 votes) said “Somewhat.” Only 11% (164 votes) of students said they have effective stress management strategies.

Practicing healthy stress management might seem like a laborious task, but it will pay off in the long term. USF students need to learn about and implement effective stress management techniques.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, a healthy response to stress could mean trying to get a few more hours of sleep, making sure you eat three meals a day, or adding physical exercise to your daily routine. San Francisco offers a ton of opportunities to get out and relax. You could stroll over to Clement Street and grab a pastry at Arsicault, attend a yoga class at Koret or go for a walk in Golden Gate Park. 

While these techniques are great for managing finals-induced stress, the only way to fully get rid of that anxiety is to properly prepare for exams. 

One framework for healthy studying is the Pomodoro Technique. The Pomodoro Technique breaks up your work into intervals, 25 minutes of focused work followed by a 5-minute break. I’d recommend going into an empty classroom and projecting on the screen an aesthetic Pomodoro timer you can find on Youtube to keep you motivated. 

Staying organized is also important to manage stress. Creating a to-do list in a notebook is a great way to keep track of tasks. You can use sticky notes or highlighters to organize what you need to do by due date, class, or priority. Estimating how long a task might take is helpful to make it less overwhelming and provide structure for study sessions. Working alongside others, either in-person or on Facetime is another great way to keep yourself accountable and focused. 

As we enter finals season, finding the right stress-management techniques can make all the difference.

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