The Importance of Prioritizing Mental Health During Finals Week

by Sarah McLaughlin '23
Editor-in-Chief


Campus


The Importance of Prioritizing Mental Health During Finals Week

by Olivia Coletti ’24

Finals week is a stressful time for any student, and, as the week begins, it is essential to find the ways to manage one’s mental health. Various studies have proven that stress and heightened anxiety lead to people overlooking things. Thus, when exam time comes, if anxiety is at an all-time high, it will work against you.

Some ways to put your mental health first this week are by creating a schedule, eating right, and studying hard, while also giving yourself well-deserved breaks. PsychCentral explains that “how you approach studying matters as much as what you do.” Staying positive, pacing yourself, and avoiding negative thoughts and comparisons will allow you to focus on the subject material. Other study tips include studying in different locations and finding where you work most productively. Ultimately, as shown by these studies, maintaining a positive mindset is important to remain productive and keep mental strength.

One club that has had a major impact this semester on the conversation of mental health at PC is Active Minds. The club celebrated Mental Health Awareness month with events throughout the entire month of October while also bringing awareness to taboo topics. 

Alison Malmon, the founder and executive director of the national branch of Active Minds, made it her mission to change the way we approach mental health in the United States. She lost her brother, a Columbia University senior who concealed his depression, to suicide. His silence hurt him further: “The depression had created a space for him where he felt like he was the only one, that all of it was his fault,” says Malmon. 

It is important to be open with feelings this week, check in with each other, and not let stress boil over during exams. Your grades are not a reflection of who you are, just your performance in one college class. Even though it is important to work hard, remember to stay balanced.

You never know what a student may be dealing with, whether it is a sick parent, financial concerns, or mental health issues. According to a nationwide survey by the American Addiction Center, “The biggest stressor for students was exams (89 percent).” That is a massive percentage of the student body. If the majority of students at PC are at peak stress this week, there will be obvious tension on campus, so much so that it can affect both the academic and social lives of the student body. The immense amount of stress students may feel because of their exams is a reminder to be kind to both yourself and others this week. 

According to Purdue University professor Daniel Mroczek, “Some students will worry a little bit, some will stress a lot, and others will literally get sick. In my career, I’ve seen three nosebleeds during final exams.” 

Take care of yourselves this week. We are almost there, Friars.