How to manage stress during finals season

From taking care of yourself to decompressing with music, there are many tools students can use to keep their mental health up during finals.

Finals season is one of the most daunting aspects of being a college student. Between the late-night study sessions and the early morning cramming, finals can take a toll on the health and well-being of students.

The Trinitonian did a Sidewalk Symposium in the Coates Student Center to get tips from students on how they deal with the stress of finals. The Trinitonian also sat down with Claudia Rodriguez Kypuros, a clinical social worker at Trinity Counseling Services, to gain insight on managing finals season.

Dasey Dang, a first-year neuroscience major, suggests going to the gym to relieve the stress of finals. “It’s a really good source of energy,” Dang said, highlighting that working out can help students who need a second wind in their studying.

Kypuros recommends the same thing. Whether it is taking a walk or gardening, Kypuros recommends something that will “let your mind go wherever it needs to go.”

Aidan Salazar, a first-year undecided major, says that listening to music helps him cope during finals season. “That’s my number one relief,” Salazar said.

Along with Salazar, Kypuros also encourages students to use music as a means of stress relief. “I highly recommend music […] music is a means to relax and decompress,” Kypuros said. Kypuros also mentioned the inspiration that music elicits is important for students during finals, so find the playlist that will keep you motivated or relaxed.

In addition to these helpful tips, Kypuros highlights the importance of the word “intentional” in the stress management of finals. She suggests creating a clean boundary between studying and personal time.

Words of wisdom from Kypuros:

Acknowledge how you feel. Before studying, do an assessment of how you are feeling physically and emotionally. Make sure that if there are any gaps you address them.

Take care of your basic needs. Make sure that you get rest, drink water and eat.

Give yourself permission to take a break. Take around 30 minutes for a break, and make sure that it is planned beforehand. Get yourself out of the study space if possible, and if needed, utilize a timer so you can get back to work promptly.

Practice healthy boundaries. Be OK with saying “no.” Setting boundaries protects us and the people around us. If you are committed to studying for four hours and someone asks you to hang out, be OK with setting boundaries and saying “no” or “not right now.”

Know that this is temporary. Finals are temporary. Time is brief, and it will pass.