By Jessica Goldstein | The Duquesne Duke
As the semester crawls closer to an end, schoolwork and stress only continue to climb. Responsibilities pile high and all students struggle to maintain stability in the crazy whirlwind that is college. If there isn’t an exam coming up, there’s an eight page paper around the corner.
The worst part may be the difficult level of school paired with an absence of breaks, as Duquesne students’ last day off was Labor Day in the beginning of September. Additionally, most students have more than just schoolwork on their plate, be it work, athletics, greek life or club and organization obligations. Everyone has a different coping mechanism for the overbearing stress associated with this time of the year.
Any advice on how to stay on track could be helpful. So, we asked a few students and professors how they handle the stress and exhaustion of the pre-Thanksgiving blues that we all know so well.
Rachel Swain, senior psychology major, explained her main study tactic is to eliminate background noises and distractions.
“I tend to isolate myself from other people, my cell phone, noise, et cetera when I’m studying because otherwise I get distracted,” she said.
The library is a place of refuge for many students, providing the perfect environment for studying. Sophomore biology major Kaitlyn Michalow said she started arriving at the library earlier and staying later into the night to ensure that she studies as much as possible.
Even freshmen are getting the hang of acquiring more intense study habits. Physician assistant major Lauren Murray and marketing major Maggie Cunningham discovered that beginning assignments and studying earlier relieves stress and tension on their workload.
Anne Stevens, junior accounting and information systems management major, finds motivation in counting down the days until she returns home.
Everyone winds down from a long hard week in his or her own unique way. Michalow, Cunningham and Murray relax with Netflix and a snack. Swain, although also using typical vices like Netflix and food, finds relaxation in cleaning.
Students and professors confront similar stressful problems at this time of year. Emad Mirmotahari, assistant professor of English and African studies, contributed his own motivational inspiration.
“As an educator, I always remind myself that I’m here for the students, and that no matter how stressful things are for me I have a degree of freedom and authority that students don’t,” he said.
Professor of science writing Kristin Klucevsek offered helpful tricks to stay on track. She uses her calendar religiously, creates a daily list of goals that she must achieve before her head hits the pillow and always thinks multiple weeks in advance.
Professors, too, must let off steam after a stressful week. To relax, Mirmotahari enjoys running, gardening and spending time with his wife. Klucevsek also has some go-to relaxation activities. She watches a couple of TV shows, plays with her kids, exercises and gets fresh air while the weather’s still nice and has the occasional glass of wine and dark chocolate combo.
Whether you are a professor or a student, enthusiasm towards responsibilities decreases as we approach the long-awaited Thanksgiving Break. Hopefully with some of these tips and tricks, we all can survive the rest of the semester.