By Kathryn Green
Rachel Hickman drew a crowd of students who said they were tense and worried at her lecture Thursday, Dec. 13, on “Managing Finals Stress.”
Hickman, a graduate student working with Women”s Services and Resources, chose to concentrate her presentation on slowing down and quieting life rather than adding to the stressful feeling.
“We have our own inner rhythm that is sensitive to circumstances,” Hickman said. “When we allow it to come out and be sharpened by the Spirit, we can succeed.”
Hickman said life teaches our bodies to react with more tension than is necessary. Students are pros at psyching themselves in order to succeed.
However, stress actually hinders students” ability to study successfully and perform well on exams, she said.
Getting enough sleep, eating healthy foods, praying regularly and discovering the essence of child-likeness are a few of the tactics Hickman listed as keys to real success.
“When you take care of your body, your body will take care of you,” Hickman said.
Students are more likely to go into a mode of catastrophic thinking when they do not get enough sleep, Hickman said. When students eat too much junk food, their bodies go numb, she said.
“Your mind and your body work together,” Hickman said. “Eating good food and getting enough sleep invigorate them both.”
Hickman also pointed out how prayer can help students to focus and concentrate because of the way it invites silence into students” lives.
She pointed out how internal and external silence are key to eliminating the chaos of school.
Another aspect Hickman stressed was for every person to get back to their child-likeness. She defined this term to mean a person”s ability to enjoy life and live in a more carefree manner.
“What we really are seems to be buried within us,” Hickman said. “These qualities are still there and we still have those capabilities, but we”ve added too many things onto what we already are.”
Jennifer Vance, 18, a freshman from Issaquah, Wash., majoring in business management, said she came to the lecture looking for good study skills to use next week during finals.
With her five tests ahead, Vance said she wanted to be prepared for her first semester of college finals.
“Instead of stressing out, I want to focus on what”s really important,” Vance said. “I don”t have time not to.”
Tamara Ericksen, 24, a graduate student from Afton, Wyo., studying English as a second language, said she had already been thinking about the topic before attending the lecture.
“It”s scary to put trust in yourself when you realize that you could fail,” she said.
Eriksen said she has a hard time concentrating and studying, but she said she felt Hickman”s seminar helped her to realize she will be able to succeed.