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Ways To Cope With Stress During Finals Week

December 16, 2013, 7:00 AM by Brittany Larson

Ways To Cope With Stress During Finals Week

From diet and exercise, prioritizing their assignments, to taking small breaks during long study sessions, there are many things students can do during finals week that will help them be successful.

"I have two finals and three papers and a big project left," Senior at Augustana College Anna Skov said.

It's crunch time for students at Augustana College as they gear up for finals week, which began on Saturday. While it's easy to get overwhelmed, some students say it helps to take one thing at a time.

"I just cross them off when I get them done and it makes it a lot easier and taking brief breaks is also very helpful," Skov said.

Whether you're taking a break to play a game of pool or maybe a quick nap, health experts say taking small breaks is very effective and even recommended.

"It's super important to take mini breaks," Sioux Falls Seminary counselor and instructor Gretchen Hartmann said. "Walk away, go take a walk, lay down and do some yoga, go get a snack then come back to it."

Along with taking breaks getting enough sleep is just as important for some students.

"I always try and get six hours during my studying. It's nothing major but for me I need my sleep so I will likely to get up early and finish studying then stay up all night," Skov said.

Even though finals week can be stressful, there are plenty of activities the students can get involved in during semester shutdown.

"Ornament decorating, a puppy room and the library has coffee and hot chocolate available. They also have extended their hours. It has been extremely helpful, just ways to not get overwhelmed," Augustana College Freshman Brian Hovland said.

"Semester shutdown is like my favorite activity of the entire school year because there is so much to do there and it comes at the perfect time because we are already stressed out with everything," Augustana College Senior Emily Grandprey said. 

However, prioritizing may help relieve some of that stress.

"The best thing they can do is to plan those last weeks and plan out what papers they are going to be due. I believe in prioritizing, what is the smallest thing you can do first. Get those things off your plate so that you can tackle those bigger things," Hartmann said.

But in just a couple of days once the semester comes to end, many students will be breathing a sigh of relief.

"It's my last full semester as a student here in undergraduate career so I can't even think the words to describe how good it's going to feel to be done," Skov said.

Experts say maintaining a healthy diet while exercising all semester long is important so that once finals come at the end of the semester, then students would be less vulnerable to colds or other infections.

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