Stress, studying and graduation

By Layna Edington | 12/9/12 2:54pm

We have finally made it to exam week. While it is exciting to be so close to the finish line, there is still quite a bit of stress ahead before we can relax for the next couple of weeks. Everyone knows stress isn’t a good thing, and I think it is fair to say most people don’t enjoy stress, but sometimes it just seems to be unavoidable. This is especially true during exam week. With most of us facing multiple papers to write and cumulative finals to study for, there seems to be little time for things like eating and sleeping.

Lately I have found quite a few interesting infographics online, and this week I thought it was fitting to talk about an infograph focusing on stress while cramming for exams. The infograph talks about the effects of stress on studying and how well students test on exams when they are under stress. Further it talks about the ineffectiveness of cramming. If you are like me you end up putting things off every now and then, which makes cramming seem totally necessary. I always thought cramming would get me by, but this study shows that cramming just doesn’t work. In fact, spacing study time out into several short sessions actually works 90 percent better than cramming. I knew cramming was bad, but I didn’t know it was this bad! It might be too late to avoid cramming this semester, but if you have a semester or two left, I highly suggest trying to space out your study time to see if it works better for you.

The next section I found interesting was related to trading sleep for studying. I know I need my sleep, but there are times when there are just not enough hours in the day. At that point I begin trading day hours for night and give up precious hours of sleep to check a couple more things off of my to-do list. This infograph claims stress from school affects sleep more so than alcohol, caffeine, and using electronic gadgets late into the night. Further, it tackled the effects of an all-nighter. Did you know sleeping less than six hours a night for two weeks leaves you as tired and drained as someone who has been up for 48 hours? I didn’t either! This week, try to get more sleep. Even if it seems like there simply is not enough time in the day, try to find some. Give up Facebook and Twitter in exchange for studying and sleep. It could make a huge difference in your exam scores.

Do you think stress is really that detrimental to your health, or do you think it is just something necessary to get through long weeks of exams and homework? How do you handle stress? Remember, if there is anything the Office of Graduate Studies can do to help with your raduate education, please let us know. Email us at, or call the office at (616) 331-7105.

Layna Edington
_Graduate Student Association _

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