Students prepare for finals week

Kyra DeVoe, Staff Writer

Bucknell students are gearing up for the most dreaded time of the year: finals week.

After a blissful ten-day break from anything school-related, students return to campus and experience a whirlwind of final assignments, presentations, papers and exams. Bertrand Library is overflowing with students, who are setting up camp in all corners of the building and preparing to study hard in hopes of ending the semester on a positive note.  

The brief two-week period that sits between Thanksgiving Break and Winter Break has always been infamous for its heavy workload, but new anxieties for students are emerging this year. This year marks the first finals week since the onset of the COVID-19 crisis where things testing conditions are completely back to “normal.” Students have said goodbye to any online Zoom exams and are saying hello to traditional in-person exams. At this point, only Bucknell seniors who were at the institution in the fall of 2019 remember what a finals week like this looks like. 

After two years of taking online exams, in-person exams can result in added stress for students on top of the already overwhelming pressure that comes with finals week. Taking exams online allows for more comfort. For one, there’s less anxiety about how quickly students around you are finishing their exams compared to you. Additionally, students can take the exam in their own environment, free of any disturbance or bothersome noises.

For some students, taking the exam in their pajamas on their couch is more comfortable whereas for others a silent study room allows them to perform their best. Overall, students with testing anxiety felt much comfort in the time of online exams, which allowed them to set themselves up best for success.  

Due to differences in assignments from professors in various departments, not all students feel that the pressure this finals week is different from any other.

I don’t feel pressure at all — all of my finals are projects or essays and don’t require in-person work,” Sophie Downey ’23 said.

For first-years, the wave of responsibilities that crashes onto them during finals week may come as a bit of a shock. Bucknell upperclassmen have come accustomed to the rigor of finals week at this school and have managed, through trial and error, to discover what study methods will result in success for them.

I manage my stress by playing board games with friends or reading a good book,” Taylor Pearce, a senior with six final weeks under his belt, said. “The best advice I can give to any underclassmen would be to keep pounding away at the books and the results will show.”

“Good advice for underclassmen is to set a timer when you’re studying so you can study for 20 minutes and then take a five-minute break and repeat it,” Blair Echnat ’24 said. “This method will help you not get burnt out while studying, and it will be more effective and less stressful.”

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