With less than a month left in the fall 2018 semester, it’s wise to prepare ahead of time for the stress that accompanies finals week.
Finals begin the week of Dec. 10 at Salt Lake Community College. Taking any number of classes with heavily weighted final exams can be a daunting experience, which is why it’s critical to get stress under control ahead of time.
“We do see an uptick around finals week of people realizing that they’re stressed. We like to get to people before that happens,” says Jessica Pettersson, health promotion manager at the Center for Health and Counseling.
Some common detriments of stress include fatigue, which can reduce your ability to recall information, a crucial element of test-taking; aches and pains, which only further distract from studying; and a weakened immune system, which can increase susceptibility to illness.
Among the suggested remedies to stress are meditation, exercise, drinking plenty of water, eating properly and getting ample sleep. However, stress relievers can vary from person to person.
“I think people deal with stress in different ways, so, it’s about trying to find what works for you,” says Pettersson.
The CHC, located at the Taylorsville Redwood, South City and Jordan campuses, is well-equipped to help students who are dealing with stress and other mental health issues associated with academic pressures.
“We do a lot of different things around stress management because that’s the number one issue affecting our students and their ability to be academically successful,” says Pettersson.
All semester long, the CHC offers help to students in the form of counseling — $15 for an hour-long session. They also offer massage therapy, which is $30 per visit.
In addition to the services offered at the CHC, the Student Health Advisory Club conducts a de-stressing activity every Tuesday from 10 a.m. to noon in the Academic and Administration Building at Taylorsville Redwood Campus.
Near the end of the semester, the CHC and SHAC target finals-related stress in an event rightly named De-Stress Fest.
“We have a bunch of different activities that you can do to figure out what ways you can de-stress, different coping skills; fun activities where you can just come sit and relax for a minute and not have to worry about finals,” says Pettersson.
De-Stress Fest, which this semester will be held Dec. 4 at the Taylorsville Redwood Campus and Dec. 5 at the South City Campus, is aimed at helping students relax under pressure.
“We also have therapy dogs that are going to be coming, so you can come and pet a dog and chill for a little bit,” says Pettersson. “Maybe have some hot cocoa, some cider, something like that.”
During finals week, the CHC will offer free chair massages in the libraries at the Taylorsville Redwood, South City and Jordan campuses.
Call or visit the nearest Center for Health and Counseling location for more information.