De-stress Before Your Tests With The Help of IUPUI

Ahhh yes, here we are again, beloved finals week. College students across the country are gearing up for one of, if not the most, stressful weeks of their semester. From overly-clenched buttcheeks, to caffeine binges and sleep-deprived zombies roaming campus, we have all experienced and witnessed the varying symptoms of stress and student coping mechanisms during finals week.

A 2016 survey done by MentalHelp.net asked more than 1,000 college students about the their stress levels and sources of their stress while also analyzing 2.9 million tweets in a one-to-three mile radius around college campuses. The survey results shed some light on the current state of college student stress.

31 percent of students surveyed indicated they are stressed two-to-four times a semester, 30 percent indicated they were stressed the entire semester and 28 percent of students indicated they were stressed five-to-seven times a semester. 31 percent of those students admitted that finals and midterms were the biggest source of their stress.

Stress symptoms can be debilitating and affect a students life physically, emotionally and academically. Depression, anxiety and loss of sleep and appetite are some of the symptoms of stress that college students can go through.

With evidence of the negative effects on students, IUPUI, along with colleges across the country, has stepped up in recent years to help students cope.

For this years finals week, there are multiple events and perks set up around campus designed to help reduce students stress levels. These events are located in the University Library, Cavanaugh Hall second floor and Lot 71 across from North Hall. The Office of Health and Wellness has also stepped in to help.

Details on UpLate at University Library, an opportunity for students to find a quiet place to study for extended periods of time. Photo by Nick Yager.

The University Library will be hosting their UpLate at University Library event starting Sunday April 28, through Thursday, May 2. This event includes IUPUI’s annual therapy dog session, located in the main lobby of the library. The sessions will be held from 8 to 9 p.m. and will include therapy dogs from Paws and Think, a local not-for-profit organization established to improve lives through the power of the human-dog connection. Here, students will be able to interact with the pups in order to reduce their stress levels, take a break from studying and boost their mood.

Liz Gomes, an IUPUI graduate, fondly remembers the benefit of going to one of the therapy dog sessions.

“Going to the therapy dogs helped me because it took my mind off of the stress of finals and deadlines. I love dogs. So interacting with them and petting them made me happy and feel more relaxed for my finals.”

Chandler Cruse, a junior at IUPUI, is looking forward to going to a therapy dog session.

“Being someone who loves dogs for one would help me wind down from all the school work at hand. Also, being in contact with something living that is not a human takes stress away.”

Also during UpLate at University Library, the library will remain open until 2 a.m. for students. On each night, the library will also be serving refreshments that include coffee, tea, hot chocolate and snacks while supplies last. All students need is their CrimsonCard to enter or remain in the library for the extended hours.

The Office of Health and Wellness also has events and activities in place to help give students peace of mind and a break from studying. They have established kits that include coloring pages, puzzles, games and magazines to give students that break from studying.

On Friday, April 26, on the second floor of Cavanaugh Hall from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., there will be a Stress-Free Zone for students that provides snacks to help reduce stress. These snacks and a sign-up sheet are located on tables in the hallway just left of the staircase.

Jagapalooza, an annual end-of-the-semester carnival, will also be hosted on Friday, April 26 in Lot 71 across from North Hall from 5 p.m. to midnight. Free with a CrimsonCard, students will have access to carnival rides and carnival-themed presentations such as fire performances, palm readers, juggling stilt walkers and magicians.

Food trucks, including Dizzy Izzy’s, Hoosier Roots and Brozinni Pizzeria, and carnival games will be there but will cost money.

The stress of finals can be difficult for students. IUPUI has shown an awareness of this through hosting these events. Students must always remember that they are more important as a person than the grade they may receive.

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