Adulting 101: How to fight finals week


“Adulting” is tough, and with finals week just around the corner, it gets even tougher. Thankfully, the Counseling Center has a free solution to fight the finals week fiasco.

Test Anxiety is one of four-hour long sessions that were created as a part of the Adulting 101 series. The four sessions are: Leadership and Communication, Building Relationships, Fighting Negative Thinking and Test Anxiety. Each session is composed of group activities led by SDSU counselors like Jessica McLaughlin. 

“Our first approach was to identify a few topics that we see, primarily, coming through our doors and use those as ideas for groups,” McLaughlin said.

But these group workshops are not like the stereotypical therapy sessions seen on TV. 

McLaughlin said they are nowhere near as intense as people assume. 

“I don’t think students realize that we aren’t going to make them so uncomfortable,” she said. “Some of it is actually kind of fun.”

Darci Nichols, the assistant director for Wellness Center Counseling, said the relaxed, low-key atmosphere of these sessions is very important, which is why they had the interns be a part of it.

“Part of the reason why [interns] are involved is because they’re young and close to the students age,” Nichols said. “So it wouldn’t turn into us lecturing them on how to study.”

One of the counseling center interns involved in this series is Carrie Schwing, who is also a graduate assistant. She said that a lot of students, including her former undergrad self, have anxiety when it comes to exams, especially finals.

“Some students get distracted during exams or kind of blank,” Schwing said. 

She said they could’ve studied for hours, but when they start the exam, they suddenly can’t remember anything. The Test Anxiety session helps students “develop skills to use throughout finals.”

The specific skills that the counseling center will probably be focusing on would be identifying early triggers of stress, time management, becoming more proactive, identifying unhealthy habits that have developed while in college, becoming more aware of the physical signs of stress and so much more, McLaughlin said.

“There’s a long list of things we could do for Test Anxiety,” McLaughlin said. “But we let the students guide the session based on what they feel like they need.”

That is why these sessions are so different from other workshops, Nichols said. They are tailored to the needs of the students who attend. So far, the attendance has been low. But the center wants students to know about the information they can receive by attending these sessions.

“What I would love for students to realize is that they are getting quality information, care and work, and all they have to do is show up,” McLaughlin said. “I would encourage people to at least give it a try.”