Some students may feel anxious or overwhelmed as finals week approaches. These feelings can be difficult to navigate and could cause stress.
The Office of Health Promotion and other campus organizations collaborated to give students a week of de-stressing before finals this semester.
Montclair State University students were able to learn new ways to combat stress and were provided with some tools to cope with it. From May 1 to May 5, the Office of Health Promotion invited students to meditate, pet and play with therapy dogs and write positive affirmations in chalk near the Drop In Center for themselves and other students passing by.
Students were encouraged to take time for themselves to put their minds at ease.
Last Friday was one of the final events of the week: Kick It! At the Drop In Center (DC).
Students engaged in outdoor activities at the DC lawn. They were able to take home essential oils, sleep masks and mini coloring books.
Representatives from the Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) were present if students wanted to talk.
Jose Rivera is a senior public health major and is an intern at the Office of Health Promotion.
He described the importance of giving students the opportunity to learn about how to deal with finals week.
“So De-stress Week, it’s scheduled specifically during finals week,” Rivera said. “It’s in preparation for just people to unwind and get some stress off during the week of their finals. So this whole week, we’ve just been setting up different types of events. Maybe it was a tabling where it was an outreach with a couple of us just handing out stress balls, bendies [and] some stickers just to keep people stress-free.”
Rivera said the Kick It! At the DC event focused on enjoying the outdoors.
“Today’s our last day, Kick It! At the DC and this is just where everybody can come and just unwind, chill if they want to, play some corn haul, football, can jam and actually draw on the sidewalk with some chalk with the help of CAPS,” Rivera said.
He further said that as a Star Wars fan, his favorite De-Stress Week event was the Star Wars: A New Cope tabling event. He said students were taught about coping mechanisms.
“We were just talking about healthy and unhealthy coping mechanisms while we were giving out Star Wars-themed stress balls, some Star Wars stickers and we had smencils,” Rivera said. “So it was just my favorite event because I’m a big Star Wars fan so it was easy for me to just talk to [students] and it was actually good for me to reference the movie and relate to the unhealthy or healthy coping mechanisms.”
Zhi-Yi Hsu, a sophomore nutrition and food science major and peer advocate for the Office of Health Promotion.
She said the Office of Health Promotion provides students with many resources but could also lead students to the right place for their needs.
“We’re the place for that,” Hsu said. “The Drop In Center is actually part of the Office of Health Promotion and we are more of like a resource center. So students tend to come to us, ask for advice on certain things, and we direct them to people that would be able to help them with the situation the best. But we also have CAPS here, counseling and psychological services. They’re really great. Students can also go to them too and just CAPS in general is over [at] Russ Hall.”
Hsu liked Monday’s Tips and Tacos event, where mental and physical health was the topic of focus.
“I mean just as much as Jose likes Star Wars, I like tacos just as much,” Hsu said. “We had Tips and Tacos on Monday of this week, so they had tacos that they gave out with Doritos and Fritos and all that good stuff but they also invited a bunch of campus partners there to be represented and also give out some freebies and some tips on how to be productive and stay on top of things while also maintaining your mental health and physical health as well.”
Students on campus spoke about what they do to stress less during finals.
Amira Holmes, a freshman biology major, resorts to music as finals approach.
“I feel okay about it I guess,” Holmes said. “I think I’ll feel more relieved once I finish it. I listen to music.”
Saher Chaudhry, a freshman computer science major, said he also listens to music, and it’s helping him during the upcoming finals week.
“I’ll be relieved once I finish them, but I’m just prepping for them right now,” Chaudry said. “I’m listening to a lot of Keshi.”
Brandon Bernard Mendez is a junior information technology major. He deals with stress by taking the steps necessary to see a decrease in it.
“Mostly just be prepared,” Bernard Mendez said. “That’s the best way to handle finals is to be prepared for it. Studying and time management, that definitely decreases worrying.”