Mental health check-up for the week of the finals | News


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With the winter vacation countdown, Iowa State students are under added stress.



For many Iowa state students, the next week is going to add stress to the ongoing struggles they faced last year, with returning to face-to-face classes, living with mental illnesses, thinking about financial problems, get treatment for medical conditions, move out and come home for a break.

To find out what this week might be like for students, the Iowa State Daily sent out a poll asking how students are focusing and taking care of their mental health during finals week. The investigation was sent in Thursday’s Daily Dose email and posted on the Iowa State’s Reddit page. A total of 14 students responded. Please note that the results described here are based on a small self-selected sample and not on a random sample. Therefore, they do not necessarily represent the true opinions of the student body in the State of Iowa.

Regarding the parts of her daily life that were overlooked by prep week and finals week, Emma Salzman, a senior mechanical engineer, said, “Basically these two weeks are all about grinding.”

Students said that having multiple homework assignments was something they distracted, and two respondents said that during those weeks they spent more time doing homework than usual.

Richard Lowery, a second year computer engineering student, said that “something difficult would probably just be other tasks before [finals] because it just causes you to overthink which one you should do first while also managing your time. “

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, students may find that scheduling everything they need to do can help relieve some of the excessive and unproductive anxiety they are experiencing and make them feel good. control.

Some students also said they enjoyed taking breaks to do things they enjoy, like hanging out with friends, watching a movie, or having a drink at Starbucks.

“I made a tradition of building a tough Lego set during prep week,” said Mackenzie Rice, senior actuarial science.

Some students like to go to a public place – perhaps one of the most popular being the Parks Library – to work alone or in groups. Rice said she liked to “hide in a local cafe to [she] may feel internal peer pressure to study in public. “

One respondent said that working with others makes them accountable. However, some may find that being around other people hampers their ability to concentrate.

“Even if they’re not doing anything particularly distracting, the mere presence of others distracts me,” said Brinton Musser, a history junior.

Many respondents said the music helped them focus and maintain their sanity while studying and working through the finals. The lo-fi genre seemed to be particularly popular. Musser made classical music, especially Wagner, Beethoven and Bach, as well as opera, two genres he appreciated.

“With music, all tasks seem to go faster,” he said.

The students enjoyed getting enough sleep during prep week and finals week. Some said sleep was something that changed in those two weeks, with one student saying they slept less and another saying they slept more.

Some also said that their diet was affected. A student said having to move to get food was a distraction for them, and a couple said they could skip meals or eat only once a day. Musser said he was less hungry than usual.

“This semester is the first time that this has happened, but my appetite has also been greatly affected by the lack of hunger,” he said.

For all students who may be facing food insecurity, the state of Iowa has a free pantry, along with other options.

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