Thursday, March 20, 2008
Just prior to Spring Break, I noticed that many of my law students were very stressed. In part, it was due to the plethora of midterm exams and paper deadlines. In part, it was due to students' knowing that they were behind on reading for classes and outlining for exams. In part, it was due to their being tired of the monotony of weeks of classes.
Few of my law students can afford to play throughout the entire Spring Break. Most of them are having to work on papers, outlines, and projects. However, I encouraged the students who dropped by to work on their study schedules before leaving for Spring Break to schedule time for rest, exercise, and relaxation as well as serious study time. And, since Easter extended our break this year, I encouraged them to spend time with family if Easter were important to their family traditions.
For some students, I almost had to make them promise to take some down time for themselves over the break period. With coaxing, I could get those overly anxious students to understand that they had to manage stress rather than be consumed by it. For other students, we were able to quickly work through study priorities and balance that time with relaxation.
Spring Break is a very necessary respite from the routine class weeks. Once the students are back, the downhill slope to exams begins. Stress management skills will be just as necessary as study skills if they are to be successful. (Amy Jarmon)