South Dakota State University's Independent Student-Run Newspaper Since 1885

The Collegian

South Dakota State University's Independent Student-Run Newspaper Since 1885

The Collegian

South Dakota State University's Independent Student-Run Newspaper Since 1885

The Collegian

10 healthy ways to hop through finals week


It’s the dreaded time of the semester yet again when things begin to pile up and it seems like you may never get everything done. With deadlines growing by the minute and final exams quickly approaching, stress is bound to come creeping in.

Fear not, there are ways to make the end of the semester bearable and control stress.

1. Make a schedule

This may seem beyond basic, but it is incredibly helpful to know exactly what’s happening and when. Just assuming when exams and deadlines are can lead to confusion and mix-ups that just add to stress, rather than reducing it.

“I try to stay organized. I have a master calendar that I have hanging by my front door that I try to check whenever I leave the house, so I know what I have due or going on that day,” said Kayla Myers, senior apparel merchandising major.

2. Get enough sleep

A good night’s sleep allows you to tackle stress more easily. According to the American Psychological Association, sleep is proven to reduce stress. Try not to nap during the day. Instead, get to bed at a reasonable time for a good night’s rest.

3. Enforce healthy habits

“If I’m eating healthy and drinking water I feel better, have more energy and am more motivated to succeed,” said junior psychology major May Dang.

A good diet ensures sustainable energy to help power through those long hours of studying.

4. Take a break

Now that the snow is finally melting away and the sun is out, take a walk and get some fresh air to help relieve stress.

“I go to the gym almost every day and take time to myself to do things like paint my nails and watch an episode or two of my Netflix show,” said junior nursing student Dallas Hellman.

5. Sweat the stress away

Not only does exercise provide a much-needed break, it will release built-up stress and tension related to school or just life in general. Whether it’s going for a run or attending a fun workout class, getting some exercise is a good way to sweat some stress away.

“Working out is extremely important, the by-product is endorphins that are released in our brain that make us feel calmer,” said SDSU counselor Darci Nichols.

6. Lean on friends and family

There is nothing more calming than spending quality time with someone who makes you feel safe and understood. College students are all in the same boat right now, so it may be helpful to talk to one another and vent about stress. Also, a call home to mom or dad always seems to fix everything.

7. Prioritize

Take a look at everything that needs to get accomplished, see what’s coming up next and work on that first. Take things one assignment at a time, that way it’s not so overwhelming. Hellman suggests writing lists.

“I make lists of the things I need to do and prioritize them based on when they need to be done,” he said. “It makes me feel better seeing all of the things I need to accomplish and being able to check them off as I finish them.”

8. Try relaxation techniques

Yoga and meditation can help reduce stress and anxiety. It can be as simple as just taking a deep breath to calm yourself down. Places such as b.well Brookings, Prairie Soul Yoga and the Wellness Center are all great resources to take advantage of.

9. Laugh

Comedic relief is a huge way to reduce stress. The physical act of laughing releases tension and provides physiological changes. Find more ways to incorporate laughter into your day can certainly bring more joy and reduce stress.

10. Ask for help

There are many resources on campus students can go to when it all becomes too much. Attend SI sessions if possible, schedule an appointment at the Wintrode Student Success Center or, if talking helps, make an appointment with Counseling Services for a vent session.

“Start preparing for finals early. If students have borderline grades or are worried, they should set up a conference or visit with instructors ahead of time to see what they can do to achieve those goal grades,” Nichols said.

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