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It’s the most wonderful time of the year: finals are here. Potentially the most stressful time of the year.

A variety of events to help ease the stress on Thursday, Dec. 8, include:

  • An exam study break sponsored by the General Alumni Association’s Student Membership Program will take place 1 p.m.–3 p.m. in the Union Multipurpose Room. The theme for the event is Viva Las Vegas.
  • Check out the P.A.S.S. (Peak Academic Success and Satisfaction) Support Fair from 6 p.m.-10 p.m. in the Union’s Great Hall. P.A.S.S., created by Counseling and Wellness Services, provides students with a reenergizing and refreshing study break. P.A.S.S. will feature free food, coffee and tea, massages, arts and crafts and games.
  • Get some fur therapy with trained and certified therapy dogs Whiskey and Teddy, who will be in Carroll Hall, room 268, next to the School of Journalism and Mass Communication’s Park Library. Teddy will be ready for love from 12:00 p.m.-3:00 p.m., and Whiskey’s fluffy services will be rendered from 3:30 p.m.-5:30 p.m
  • Winter Stories for children of all ages begins in Wilson Library with cookies at 5 p.m. and a 5:30 p.m. program of music and tales from around the world.
  • From 10 p.m.-midnight, the Undergraduate Library will offer coffee and bagel in room 205. In addition to snacks, there will be screenings of old TV shows from the Media Resources Collection, plus a photo booth, where students can have their picture taken along with comments they have written about the library and studying.

Another fun event is the Gingerbread House Build on Wed., December 7, 10 a.m-2 p.m. in the Great Hall. Gather friends, and enjoy delicious study break. All supplies are provided. Just bring your creativity and sweet tooth!

If stress is overwhelming, Counseling and Wellness Services offers walk-in counseling first-time appointments Monday through Friday between 9 a.m.-12 p.m. or 1 p.m.-4 p.m. If you’re in crisis – please walk in anytime between 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, or call (919) 966-3658.

Through its blog and Twitter account, Counseling and Wellness offers study and stress relief tips

Use the tips below and campus resources for stress relief:

Studying Tips
• Find a good place to study. Dorm rooms can have many distractions. Try a campus library or a quiet coffee shop.
• Study partners can improve exam scores. Meet a classmate to discuss material before an exam. Study beforehand to make the meeting more effective.
• Avoid all-nighters. Don’t doze off during an exam! All you are going to think about is sleeping.
• Control your time. Don’t let friends control your schedule; surround yourself with people who want to do well and it will make you want to concentrate and do well on exams.

Stress Relief Tips
• Relax. Try a relaxation audio session and practice calming breaths and progressive muscle relaxation. For more information go to Campus Health Services to view relaxation audio session options.
• Try exercise. Take a study break and go to yoga or fitness class at Campus Recreation. Exercise can relax and energize, giving you greater focus when you return to studying.
• Play soft music when you feel stressed.
• Try meditation. Focus on a word, prayer or sound. Try imagery by mentally transporting yourself to a calming place such as a beach, snow-capped mountain, or a flower-filled meadow.
• Eat well. Don’t overdo caffeinated drinks and unhealthy snacks. Try to eat a balanced diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables.

Published December 7, 2011.