Inside USD

USD Offers Resources to Lower Finals Week Stress

Thursday, December 8, 2011

It’s that time of year again for University of San Diego students, December, which means a few things – the end of the fall semester is near, a fun break to spend time with family and friends looms and the only obstacle to both is taking final exams, turning in final papers, projects or giving that final presentation.

The first two items can take care of themselves. The third one, which is happening now for law students and for the rest of the campus Dec. 14-20, requires supreme focus, effort and, most of all, a good night’s sleep to accomplish. That’s right, a good night’s sleep.

A recent study that’s found on USD’s Center for Health and Wellness Promotion website showed that nearly one-fourth of USD undergraduates reported that sleep difficulties resulted in a lower grade on a test or project. Students who pull an “all-nighter” tend to have a lower grade-point average than students who make time for sleep.

Sleep increases alertness, reduces stress, bolsters memory formation and promotes overall health, the study said. It’s also important to do other sensible things like eat healthy, take time to breathe and relax and to exercise.

The University of San Diego understands that final exams can be a stressful time and that’s why there are several resources for students on campus, including the Counseling Center, Student Health Center and Founders Chapel. There are also places that are not only welcoming, but also provide comfortable seating, such as the Women’s Center and International Student Organization, United Front Multicultural Center, Center for Inclusion and Diversity and the Center for Awareness, Service and Action.

While each of the above-mentioned places provide their services throughout the school year, there are also a few special events taking place just during finals week to aid in lowering USD students’ stress and enhancing their well-being.

How about petting one of several therapy dogs that will be provided by the Center for Health and Wellness Promotion on Dec. 13 from noon to 2 p.m. in front of the Hahn University Center?

How about grabbing a group of friends or your study group and heading over to the Degheri Alumni Center, also on Dec. 13, and getting free food items at the Student Alumni Association-sponsored Finals Feeding Frenzy starting at 5:30 p.m.

If you need to burn off the calories from the Finals Feeding Frenzy or finals stress, how about taking one or more of the free fitness classes – power yoga, yoga fire, Zumba cardio blast, indoor cycling, kickboxing, Pilates and more – offered Dec. 13-19 in the Mission Fitness Center or Sports Center courtesy of USD Campus Recreation?

Maybe you’d rather rent some equipment through USD’s Outdoor Adventures and explore some of San Diego’s outdoor wonders.

If you’re still looking for activities that let you take a break from studying, watch some television or a movie, listen to music, go to the zoo, a farmer’s market or the beach. Volunteer at a community center or go to church, call or spend quality time with a friend or with family. Laugh, tell stories, play board games or, given the recent chilly weather in San Diego, relax with a cup of hot coffee, tea or hot chocolate and do some online shopping.

Whatever de-stressing technique you choose during finals week, just be sure it’s one that will aid in getting that good grade so that when the semester does end, your holiday break will be that much more enjoyable. You can even sleep in, which again, is the healthy thing to do!

– Inside USD staff

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