The end of the semester rolls around fast, and the period between Thanksgiving break and finals is remarkably short. You can encourage your student to start preparing a finals preparation schedule now to help curb the stress that will inevitably creep up over the next few weeks. First-year students are likely experiencing their first round of final exams; financial stress may be felt as holiday gift-giving heats up; and students are also facing their first period back home after what has been an extended time away.
Students can take some relatively simple steps to help avoid having stress get the best of them at this time of year. Share this list of stress-busting tips with your student in its entirety, or work this advice into your conversations.
- Manage your time. Figure out what needs to be done between now and finals, and establish a schedule that realistically reflects the time and effort necessary to complete each item.
- Set a budget. With the fall semester nearly complete and the spring term on the horizon, it is important to take stock of expenses and income, and then decide how much holiday buying you will be doing for friends and family.
- Maintain a positive attitude. Stress is inevitable; how you handle stress is a choice. Stay positive about the temporary nature of your stress, and take affirmative steps to stay ahead of those issues that are most likely to stress you out.
- Eat right. Eating well will increase physical, mental, and emotional stamina. Fueling yourself with nutrient dense foods can boost your immune system, help maintain a healthy weight, and help you feel better about yourself.
- Exercise. Physical activity provides immediate stress relief, as well as long-term stress management. Just 20-30 minutes of walking a day can give you more energy, help put things in perspective, improve sleep, sharpen mental productivity, and boost self-confidence. (Reminder: students have free access the College’s Fitness Center after activating their membership on SIS.)
- Sleep. This is often the first thing that gets sacrificed during times of stress, but consistent sleep is critical to a clear-thinking brain, which is what you need to make it through finals.
- Stay healthy. If you start feeling run down, rest. If you feel illness coming on, remember College Health Services is available Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. for all of your primary care needs. Flu shots are also available to help avoid any illness-related stress for only $15.
- Protect your belongings. Take the appropriate precautions to ensure your belongings are protected. When you go home for Thanksgiving or Winter Break lock all your windows, take home valuables (computer, jewelry, game systems, TV’s, etc.), and let your landlord know when you will be leaving and returning. Resident students will receive information from RA’s regarding properly closing their room for break in the next few weeks. Off-Campus students can find more break safety tips on the Penn College portal.