Fear of finals


As finals week approaches, many may not be aware of the resources that Youngstown State University provides to help students achieve academic success.

Jack Fahey, YSU’s vice president for student affairs, has some advice for students who are already prepping for finals.

“Start early to create study guides, review materials, etc.,” he said.

“Finish final papers and assignments as early as possible to allow more time for finals study.”

Fahey said students should use the buddy system when studying, as “learning is a team sport.” He suggested forming study groups.

However, Fahey cautioned that final exam preparation is a mix of physical and mental readiness.

“Maximize your health — and brainpower — during finals. Eat, sleep and exercise properly,” he said. “[Don’t] use last-minute cramming, stay up late or all night [or] spend needless time worrying about things that are beyond [your] control.”

Students may feel overwhelmed at this point in the semester, Fahey said, but YSU provides several resources geared toward helping its students succeed. For instance, the university offers the Center for Student Progress, the Mathematics Assistance Center and the Writing Center, among others.

Kayla Boye, a peer tutor at the YSU Writing Center, said students should make use of every moment in order to finish their essays as soon as possible.

“Most papers suffer due to procrastination and the effects of working under pressure,” she said. “If you can be proactive and eliminate those variables, you can set yourself up for a successful writing process.”

Boye said she often sees students “overwriting” in their essays.

“Students feel the need to write with more words than necessary to convey their message,” she said. “It becomes difficult for the reader to weed out the fluff from the substance. If you need to add length to your paper, don’t succumb to adding ‘BS.’ Make every word essential.”

Students sometimes experience difficulties when translating their words from mind to paper, Boye said.

“This stems from natural differences in communication styles,” she said. “Some of us are better with in-person conversations than textual explanations, so our thoughts become jumbled in the writing process. To organize your thoughts, consider making an outline before tackling the rough draft of your essay.”

The YSU Writing Center is open weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, call 330-941-3055.