Stress solutions for students: Tips on surviving and thriving during finals week

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Story by Amy Turner, Staff writer

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It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas around campus. All of the extra jolly and festivities around campus can mean only one thing: the semester is almost over. But along with the anticipation of Christmas break or graduation is the impending stress of finals and finals week. Here are a few tips on how to survive the week and finals themselves.


Take a break from the stress and enjoy a few moments doing things you enjoy to unwind. One option is The Humane Society of Calloway County’s pet therapy program. Pet therapy has come to campus several times this semester in residential college lobbies and with a monthly visit to Alexander Hall. Their final visit of the semester will be on Wednesday, Dec. 6 in the Curris Center from noon to 1 p.m. This visit was organized by Alexander Hall’s administrative assistant and event coordinator, Kimberly Hanberry.

Sophomore and nursing major, Emma Benson, said that time management and avoiding social media is important in keeping down the stress.

“Manage your time and breaks,” Benson said. “Schedule times when you can study the best. Plan to sit down for half an hour to an hour so you can really focus on studying and then take a ten to fifteen minute break. Take a non social media break. Social media causes distractions whereas other breaks, such as taking a walk, can help you destress and not distract you.”


Studying can be a daunting task for some students. Begin by trying different study methods and figure out what works best for you. A few study methods to try include: flashcards, reviewing notes and paraphrasing the content in your own words and creating study guides and going through them. Some studying tips to help you along the way can be found online at websites such as this

From a Professor

Dr. Gina Claywell teaches several different English and humanities classes here on campus and offered several different tips from her unique perspective.

She, like Benson, encourages time management to help keep stress levels down.

Students should prioritize,” said Claywell. “Make a list, or calendar of each final and what needs to get done for each class and each day and then allot an appropriate amount of time to prepare, with perhaps a little extra time for last-minute problems or unforeseen distractions.”

She also suggested that students make sure to still take care of themselves amidst all of the stress.

“Don’t forget to get sufficient sleep, eat well and to take a break for exercise or getting outdoors,” Claywell said. “It’s a stressful time, so taking care of your body is probably more important than at any other time of the semester.”

Her last tip for students is to feel free to seek out the help they need.

“Finally, attend study or prep sessions if they’re offered and don’t hesitate to contact your professor before the final if you still don’t understand some of the material,” Claywell said.

A full finals week examination schedule for Murray State can be found here.