By Mickey Winfield: PNT Staff Writer
After a holiday break gave Eastern New Mexico University students time to be thankful, it was soon time to be stressful.
Following the holiday break, it was an open week, then Monday started finals week.
And since final exams can account for a large percentage of a student’s final grade, Monday began a pressure-filled, stressful week.
“It’s very stressful,” Corina Gozalez said. “I’ve probably spent more time in the library this week than I have the rest of the semester.”
Gonzalez is an ENMU sophomore, majoring in communicative disorders. She took two final exams last week, and has three remaining this week.
“I make sure I get a lot of sleep and that I eat right,” Gonzalez said. “I’ve studied real hard and I study at least a few hours a day.”
Matthew Garza is a freshman music education major. Garza has all six of his final exams scheduled for this week and says final exams in the music department may be more difficult than in other departments.
“It’s a lot more difficult,” Garza said. “You have to find somebody who can play the piano for you and you have to prepare some pieces.”
But Garza also points out that he loves music, and that’s why he chose that department.
“I guess I could say it’s easier because it’s something I love,” Garza said. “It is pretty hard, though. When I came here I thought it would be just like high school, but it gets really in-depth.”
According to ENMU president Steven Gamble, the university does all it can do to make the week a little less stressful, like the annual midnight breakfast where ENMU faculty and staff make breakfast for students the Monday before finals.
“I think students will do better if they’re relaxed,” Gamble said. “So we do things like the midnight breakfast and other things to try to help them.”
ENMU freshman Christina Gonzales of Hereford hasn’t decided on a major yet, and this is her first taste of a college finals week.
“They expect you to know everything from the whole semester — it’s really stressful from that point, plus it’s a lot of studying,” Gonzales said. “It takes up a lot of your time.”
Freshmen such as Gonzales are a focus of the university to help make the busy week easier on students who haven’t experienced it yet.
“The freshmen are the ones we worry about because it’s the first time they’ve really gone through this experience,” Gamble said. “By the time they’re sophomores, juniors and seniors they’re better able to handle it.”
Gamble also recalls taking his finals years ago, and says nobody is immune from the stress finals week brings.
“I think that’s a feeling that everybody has gone through — no matter if you are an ‘A’ student, a ‘B’ student, a ‘C’ student or a ‘D’ student, it makes you nervous,” Gamble said. “We do what we can (to help), but a little bit of stress is probably healthy.”
“I’m nervous,” ENMU sophomore vocal performance student Gerardo Gomez said. “Because there’s so much more I have to learn.”
Gomez is from Muleshoe, and feels the stress of finals week.
“That’s a lot of pressure,” Gomez said.
ENMU’s finals week ends Friday, and the spring semester begins in late January.
“You have to focus on what you are doing and realize that you are going to do a good job,” Gonzales said.