Dealing With The Stress of Finals

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As the semester comes to an end almost everyone has final projects and finals quickly approaching.

The counseling center sees less new faces coming in and those who do come in for the first time “fall into a couple of main categories: those that are in crisis for some reason (e.g., flunking classes, no summer job or internship, a breakup just happened, not going to graduate as planned, death of a friend or family member) and those who have been dealing with a concern (e.g., depression, anxiety) and now have time to come in and get help (these are often students who will be here over the summer and want to get started now),” said Bill Burns, Director of the Counseling Center.

The Counseling Center on campus has individual, group and couple counseling for personal and academic concerns, there are also no charges for students. There is also an online service for students to help identify problems that can interfere with academic, social and personal functioning.

The link to the online service was sent out in a listserv and will allow students to take an anonymous questionnaire and receive a personal response with the opportunity to message anonymously online with a counselor or the option to set up a face-to-face meeting with a. Counselor.

Burns said students should look for a “wide-variety of things, such as feeling anxious and worrying about things in excess, having an extended period of low mood, thoughts of self-harm or suicide, not being able to sleep or not being able to get out of bed, not having an appetite or using food to cope, sabotaging relationships, sabotaging school, and increasing alcohol or drug use (self-medicating) could all be considered signs of a problem,” Burns explained.

To help with feeling overwhelmed with the end of the semester you should be getting seven to eight hours of sleep, doing aerobic exercises as many days of the week as possible, spending time with friends and eating to fuel the brain.

Start to prepare for tests one to two weeks before, and spread out time spent studying, instead of one large study time the night before the exam. Review the information often and go deep into the subject when studying.

When studying for your finals try to keep a distracting noise and things going on to a minimum, try to study in a quiet place and don’t do other things, such as eating or socializing, while studying.

Burns said, “make sure to get good sleep and to lay off alcohol/drugs during finals; week. Maintain exercise habits if possible.”

Something that can help for next semester is planning out the semester as it begins and putting in time at the beginning towards studying to help relieve stress towards the end of the semester.

“While work is seen as a good thing for students, try to not work more than 17 hours a week. This seems to be the point where it starts to interfere with school,” Burns said.

The counseling center website has a list of groups and special events that are going on throughout the semester that can help with stress and other problems you may be facing, along with when the group or event is going on.

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