Fall Finals Edition

UH provides stress relief options


Final exams and stress are synonymous to senior corporate communications major Sarah Bell — asking if the two are related is a silly question in her mind.

Bell said she keeps the stress of final exams from reaching an overwhelming level by rewarding herself after reaching milestones while studying.

“I treat myself. After I get done with a paper or halfway done, I stop and take a break. Rewarding yourself for being studious is the best way to go about it,” Bell said. “I watch ‘How I Met Your Mother’ for 20 minutes because it’s good to rejuvenate your brain instead of cram, cram, cram.”

For some, like senior music education major Jaime Ramos, physical well-being supplements studying. He often visits the Campus Recreation and Wellness Center. Without his weight-lifting workout regimen, Ramos said he wouldn’t be able to relieve as much stress or offset the pressure of finals as well.

“It’s a nice way to take out the energy of stress and put it toward something that’s beneficial to my health,” Ramos said. “It’s a nice way to get away from everything and clear your mind.”

Different departments at UH are contributing to lowering student stress. The University Center presented “Stress Free Finals” — a week’s worth of events that aim to lower student duress during finals.

One of the events included was Cougar Cab, a game-show style way to get a ride to class and answer trivia questions along the way. “Ted” was shown in the University Center at 7 p.m. Thursday. Finals Mania will be held in the M.D. Anderson Memorial Library tonight, where a free pancake breakfast will be served from 9 to 11 p.m. and free snacks and drinks will be handed out.

Learning Support Services provides tutoring every day and offers workshops to help students understand and deal with the stress of finals. If students do find themselves overwhelmed, they also have the option of visiting Counseling and Psychological Services, which now offers same-day consultations.

Learning strategies counselor Laura Heidel said in an email that students need to prioritize their schedules based on the percentage of their grade the exam is worth and how important the class is to their major.

Heidel said understanding the nature of the exam is important too. If your test is an essay, you should practice writing essays. Working with peers is important also. It is helpful to plan fixed activities first, such as classes, work and meetings. In your free time, you can plan specific tasks to do to get ready for finals.

“Keep your normal eating and sleeping schedules,” Heidel said. “If your routine gets changed a lot, this can cause stress.”

“Avoid a lot of caffeine because that can make you more nervous.”

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