Crunch Times: Upcoming Finals Stress at DU

Ready or not, DU students are wrapping up the first quarter of 2016. Finals are around the corner, and each DU student has a personal game plan. A short time between mid-terms, however, leaves many students without space to breath. Even with much work to be done, students put their mental health first. For many, a break from the books makes the difference between an “A” and a mental breakdown. Even so, each student shows a different outlook on the situation.


DU Student Caleb Petry remembers the two upcoming finals most challenging for him.

The University of Denver claims to cover a wide variety of fields. While some courses are writing-intensive, others are content-heavy. Some might combine both, and others might not even offer finals. However, students like Caleb Petry are also balancing foreign language courses with other content heavy courses. Nine weeks into the term, students are figuring out whether they are ready for finals or not. “I have two in-class finals in Calculus and French. Yeah, it’s not going to be fun,” says Petry.  Petry pauses to remember if he has forgotten to mention any other courses.

“I also have two take-home finals. I mean, take-home finals, they’re a joke,” says Petry. Of course, the difficulty of Calculus and French compels Petry to unwind on his own terms.

“I like to sit at home and drink coffee. Maybe watch some old movies, like Star Wars. You never know,” says Petry. Besides stress relief, of course, student motivation might also account for a 66% four-year graduation rate.

“I mean, you just have to think about where you want to go in life. And try and realize that this, no matter how much it isn’t fun at the time gets you there,” said Petry.


DU Student Peter Graham shares this quarter’s obstacles.

But for students like Peter Graham, this upcoming final adds unexpected challenges. “There’s not much time to prepare for finals so there’s a lot of stress now especially since we now don’t have reading week” said Graham. Without a week to review the material, students in Graham’s class will need to review the material on their own.

“I like to be out and about with friends to, you know, kind of get my mind off of the studying,” says Graham. With two weeks to go, Peter Graham has a game plan to go, just in case the work load becomes too much. For Graham, help comes from his social circle.


9:58 AM. Sturm Hall, DU. Two girls rush to get to class on time. There are no more than two weeks left in the quarter.


Morris Sparkman explains what finals stress means for him. “It’s important to be emotionally healthy and academically healthy,” says Sparkman.



For DU student Morris Sparkman, amidst running the Denver University Republican club and balancing engineering courses, there isn’t much room for hesitation. However, Sparkman still values keeping personal health in check.

“It could be something as simple as. after class, you go outside and enjoy the fantastic weather…or something more out there,” says Sparkman.

You go to the gym, maybe once in a while. Maybe the only time in the quarter. But it’s important that you staying a healthy position across the board,” says Sparkman.

Maybe there is no single answer that can work for every student. While some students prefer spending time with friends, others prefer to stay active. Further still, some students do not even have the time to take those breaks. Whatever the case may be, however, finding the motivation among piles of work proves to be a stressful ordeal; an ordeal that every student needs to keep in check.


DU Sturm Hall 10:00 AM, a DU student listens to music while waiting.


Sturm Hall, 10:00 AM. Students listen to music as they walk between classes.









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