Counselor offers tips during exams

By Katelyn Wilmer
Guest Writer
kdw6y@uvawise.edu 

Stress, one of the biggest perceived challenges to a college student, is often misunderstood. Rather than it being a result of something in our lives, some experts believe stress may actually develop from inside.

Senior biology major Allen Owens, senior chemistry major Ya Chang Liu and senior biology major Sam Kruta study in the Leonard W. Sandridge Science Center on Dec. 4, the week before exams. Jessica Shartouny | The Highland Cavalier
Senior biology major Allen Owens, senior chemistry major Ya Chang Liu and senior biology major Sam Kruta study in the Leonard W. Sandridge Science Center on Dec. 4, the week before exams. Jessica Shartouny | The Highland Cavalier

But stress, whether a result of personal or environmental circumstances, is not always bad. Despite common perceptions, “good stress” or “eustress,” helps the body both mentally and physically.

“We cannot always control some of the things that happen to us, but we do have 100 percent control over how we react to those things,” said Director of Student Development and counselor Rachel Rose.

With exam week quickly approaching, Rose suggests some simple and healthy tips for dealing with the stress many of us will face:

– “When it comes to exams the first and foremost step is being prepared for the exam. Start studying early, formulating study groups, and talking to professors about unanswered questions are just a few ways to be prepared.”

– “In addition to knowing the material, it is important to be mentally and physically prepared. Exercise and rest are positive ways to get your body [ready], as exercise boosts brain power, energy and focus. Knowing the material and keeping positive thoughts before an exam will help will help students retain the information sequestered by exams.”

– “Positive thinking reinforces the fact that life does not revolve around one test and that there is a difference between failing a test and being a failure at life. You don’t need to define yourself based on one test score.”

Ultimately everyone is unique and handles stress in their own way, Rose said.

For senior psychology major Erin Beach, that unique way is watching ABC Family’s “25 Days of Christmas” and drinking hot chocolate. For other students who might need a little bit more help fighting other stress, the Center for Student Development will host “Stress Buster Day” today from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Slemp Student Center atrium. Counselors will provide guidance and advice to beat stress and provide an opportunity to win prizes.

Students seeking individual advice and solutions for dealing with stress or any other problems facing them can make appointments with counselors by stopping by the Center for Student Development in Cantrell Hall or calling 276-376-1005.

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