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Parcells: Professors can do more to alleviate finals stress

Collegian | Trin Bonner

Editor’s Note: All opinion section content reflects the views of the individual author only and does not represent a stance taken by The Collegian or its editorial board.

The end of the semester is fast approaching, and that can only mean one thing: Finals week is just around the corner. While academic excellence is obviously a top priority for students and professors alike, it’s important that professors acknowledge their students have a multitude of responsibilities beyond the classroom. 


In the middle of the end-of-semester rush, it’s easy to overlook the fact that many students are contending with more than just their studies. Beyond academic responsibilities, a significant number of people are juggling part-time jobs, familial obligations and a myriad of personal challenges that demand their attention and effort, transforming finals week into a complicated balancing act.

The end of the semester can be an overwhelming time for students as an entire semester of work culminates in one week of highly important essays, projects and exams. Oftentimes, a final exam determines the student’s final grade in that class. That pressure, combined with the intense workload at the end of the semester, can lead to several mental health complications for students. 

Sleep deprivation, isolation and elevated levels of stress are all experienced by college students during finals week and often impact performance as students work tirelessly to handle their ever-growing pile of responsibilities. 

In this intricate balance between academic performance and real-world responsibilities, professors hold the key to alleviating some of the burdens their students face. A more flexible approach to finals not only accommodates the diverse circumstances of students but also recognizes the multifaceted nature of their lives. 

This flexibility is not a concession of academic standards but rather an acknowledgment of the broader challenges students face.

Open communication is important. Professors should actively encourage students to voice their challenges, recognizing that exams are just one part of their lives. An open dialogue often brings understanding, allowing educators to tailor their approach and provide meaningful support to their students. We need to acknowledge that students are not just faces in a lecture hall but individuals with lives full of commitments.

Beyond a willingness to communicate, professors should also take steps to actively incorporate mental health resources into their classes if they have not already. Whether through reminders of available counseling services or the integration of stress-relief strategies into the last few classes of the semester, these measures enhance the educational experience and work to alleviate some of the mental health burdens students face.

None of this is to say that academic excellence should take a backseat. Of course professors should strive to make sure that students understand the material and are meeting academic standards. Recognizing and accommodating the real-world responsibilities students bear not only enhances the educational experience but can also contribute positively to overall academic performance. 

Compassion and communication can go a long way when it comes to supporting students in their studies. Beyond the exam papers and deadlines, remember that students are navigating a complex puzzle of responsibilities. Acknowledging this reality and supporting students as the semester draws to a close serves students and professors in their shared goal of pursuing academic success.


Reach Hannah Parcells at or on Twitter @hannahparcells.

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About the Contributors
Hannah Parcells, News Editor
Hannah Parcells is currently the news editor at The Collegian, a role that she loves dearly. Parcells uses she/her pronouns and began writing for The Collegian in fall 2023 as a reporter under the news, science, opinion and life and culture desks.  Parcells is currently pursuing two degrees: a Bachelor of Science in psychology and a Bachelor of Arts in political science with a concentration in global politics. Parcells has always been passionate about understanding and helping other people and hopes to use her education to try and leave the world a little better than she found it.  Raised in Castle Rock, Colorado, Parcells grew up with a love of learning, music and writing. She’s always working to learn more about the world through history and art and loves being introduced to new places, people and ideas.  On the off chance that she’s not buried in textbooks, research papers and policy analyses, Hannah can be found on a hike, watching movies or at any local bookstore or coffee shop, feeding her ongoing addictions to both caffeine and good books. Parcells is incredibly proud of the work she’s done at The Collegian so far and is excited to continue that work as an editor of the news desk.
Trin Bonner, Illustration Editor
Trin Bonner is the illustration editor for The Collegian newspaper. This will be her third year in this position, and she loves being a part of the creative and amazing design team at The Collegian. As the illustration editor, Bonner provides creative insight and ideas that bring the newspaper the best graphics and illustrations possible. She loves working with artists to develop fun and unique illustrations every week for the readers. Bonner is a fourth-year at Colorado State University studying electronic arts. She loves illustrating and comic making and has recently found enjoyment in experimental video, pottery and graphic design. Outside of illustration and electronic art, Bonner spends her free time crocheting and bead making. She is usually working on a blanket or making jewelry when she is not drawing, illustrating or brainstorming.

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