The University of Pittsburgh's Daily Student Newspaper

The Pitt News

The University of Pittsburgh's Daily Student Newspaper

The Pitt News

The University of Pittsburgh's Daily Student Newspaper

The Pitt News

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First-year guard Aaryn Battle (1) dribbles the ball during Thursday evening’s game against Wake Forest in the Petersen Events Center.
Pitt women’s basketball falls back into their old habits, fall to Wake Forest 65-50
By Sara Meyer, Staff Writer • 9:10 am

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First-year guard Aaryn Battle (1) dribbles the ball during Thursday evening’s game against Wake Forest in the Petersen Events Center.
Pitt women’s basketball falls back into their old habits, fall to Wake Forest 65-50
By Sara Meyer, Staff Writer • 9:10 am

Students reflect on Thanksgiving break, prepare for finals

Students+reflect+on+Thanksgiving+break%2C+prepare+for+finals
Carrington Bryan | Staff Illustrator

With an avalanche of finals, endless assignments and looming deadlines, students are finding themselves caught in a whirlwind of academic pressure after Thanksgiving break.

Stress and dread are the two words Isabella Romeu, a junior media and professional communications major, used to describe her mood during the two-week period before finals.

“The break feels a bit stressful coming back from a brain break having to jump right into finals season,” Romeu said. “I appreciate the Thanksgiving break, but it feels like a very limited amount of time to get caught up and reassess afterward.”

Despite the temptation to indulge in the break, Amber Farabaugh, a junior media and professional communications major, said she used the time home to prepare for the upcoming weeks back on campus. 

“I usually utilize it by trying to stay on top of or get caught up on all the work I have to do for my final projects,” Farabaugh said. “Being in a more creative major, I have mostly projects and only one exam for finals, so most of my 2 weeks before finals week go straight to working on these projects.”

Trying to prepare for finals is one of the most important times of the year and can be stressful for students like Farabaugh.

“In my opinion, the period after Thanksgiving and before winter break is the most stressful period of the semester,” Farabaugh said. “During Thanksgiving break I, and probably most people, kind of take a break from schoolwork in what is arguably the most critical time to get schoolwork done.”

As the demands of finals and pressing assignments loom over everyone, students are also experiencing a wide range of emotions while the semester comes to an end.

“My mood and morale are almost always low during these two weeks because I am crunching a lot of work into a very short amount of time,” said Farabaugh.

Lynsie Szalecki, a sophomore biological science major, had a different strategy for studying over the break, in which she focused more on getting organized for the upcoming finals weeks. 

“I generate a master list of all the remaining assignments I have left for the semester including my final exams, and then study and work on assignments based on priority,” Szalecki said. 

“With having finals for multiple different classes all within one week, it can become overwhelming and hard to keep up with. 

Szalecki sees a clear difference between classes with finals she can work incrementally on versus classes she has one final exam for.

“My academic performance can vary between classes,” Szalecki said. “In my classes with final projects and papers, I find I do better on those than final exams. Since I’m cramming for a bunch of finals at one time, I don’t perform as well on all of them.”

Szalecki is also anticipating her mental and emotional wellbeing taking a hit in the upcoming weeks. 

“I think it will be challenging, because every class really revs up,” Szalecki said. “Every final project, paper, and test all become due within the span of two or three weeks and trying to find the time to do it all feels impossible without sacrificing wellbeing.”

For some students, including Szalecki, Thanksgiving break can be seen as a disadvantage rather than an advantage because the time away from school pulls students out of the academic mindset.

“I think it hinders my ability, because it causes more of a time crunch and therefore more stress, meaning I don’t perform as well,” Szalecki said. 

The stress of going from a period of relaxation and enjoying family time to academic hardship often causes students like Romeu to feel like it’s harder to do their best work. 

“When I go home for Thanksgiving break, I don’t usually focus on anything other than my family and my home environment, which takes me away from my studies,” Romeu said. “After Thanksgiving break, it is hard to pull me back into an academic environment and back into the studious vibes.”

Students in their first year of college, like Ashlyn Coates, are also trying to prepare for their first-time battling finals.

“I am feeling pretty anxious because my high school did not do midterms or finals, but I am also hopeful because I have been doing well in my classes so far,” Coates, a first-year business major, said.

While this time can be stressful in preparing for finals, having the break is something Coates looks forward to and is able to appreciate.

“It gives you some time to get back into the swing of things before finals begin,” Coates said. 

“Also, the fact that there’s only two weeks makes it feel like the light at the end of the tunnel before the end of the semester.”

 

Editor’s Note: Amber Farabaugh is a staff photographer for The Pitt News.

About the Contributor
Emily Handrahan, Staff Writer