Finals stress takes a toll on professors too

Research papers, last-minute assignments and final exams are all part of the stress-inducing time of final exams. Students seem to become overwhelmed with the end of each semester, racing to the finish line and making that one last push. So what about the professors?

Sean Harvey, professor who teaches Christianity and culture in dialogue and history courses, said that he anticipates the end of semester stress. “Part of it is time management. It’s about trying to work efficiently when I have free time so I can have more time, say, to spend with my family. Part of it happens before the end of the semester starts,” Harvey said.

He added that in order for him to avoid end of the semester stress and chaos, he prepares everything months or weeks in advance.

“If you haven’t taken proper steps ahead of time, it can be very difficult to avoid stress at a stressful time,” Harvey said.

There are various ways which professors handle the stress of finals.  There are professors who prepare assignments so that not all of the courses they teach are handing in papers or projects at the same time which is crucial for the end of the semester because students also come forward with requests and grade concerns.

Harvey said that he does not prefer to give in-class reviews that covers an entire course, but he will address questions that students have if he feels it will benefit the entire class.

“I give them what they can do, if there is something they can do. I try to be very supportive,” Sioux Patashnik, an english professor said . She added that she is glad that students come to her seeking help with their assignments rather than just having class time.

“Seton Hall professors, by and large, really think of themselves as professors for their students, they’re not just researchers,” Edmund Jones, an english professor, said.

“Organization is everything. You have to plan everything, without planning, it’s a big mess. I always say the Germans are very organized, so I try to live up to that,” Anna Jaroch – Obremski, a German professor, said.  

Obremski avoids stress by staying organized by writing daily lists of tasks which she must complete and check them off. She says that checking off these tasks brings her a certain peace.

The professor’s guide to surviving finals includes a variety of solutions.

First, sleep! A good night’s rest was high on the list of Obremski’s list.

Second, unplug!  It’s important for students to unplug from the world when studying for final exams and when writing term papers. Through decreasing distractions, students can absorb the information rather than simply memorize the information.

Third, reach out! “Professors want to be there for their students, so don’t be afraid to reach out,” Thomas Rzeznick, a history professor, said.

According to Seton Hall’s professors, if students can adapt these rules and tips into their lives, the end of the semester stress would be a lot less stressful.

Erika Szumel can be reached at

Author: Staff Writer

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