As the winter semester comes to a close, the stress inevitably amps up for GVSU students. April can be an overwhelming month filled with papers, projects, exams, and very few breaks. We’ve talked before about getting through to the end of the semester without losing your mind, but since finals are coming up again, we thought we’d go through some good study-break ideas. An overwhelmed mind is not one that performs at its best, so listen to your body and your emotions. When you feel like you can’t read or type another word or if you have to do one more project for class you’ll burst into tears, utilize one of the following strategies.
Work out – Exercise will clear your head. That’s not just an old wives’ tale. Not only do you need to move to be healthy, but exercising will lower your stress levels and help reduce anxiety. Even a short walk will do a lot of good.
Go out for coffee or have lunch with a friend – People are social animals, and they need actual contact with others in order to maintain their sanity. Procrastinating may be one way your brain seeks to limit how much it has to process, and while you can go too far overboard putting things off, take time out to be in the moment with people you like. It will help you keep going.
Call your family – When was the last time you called your mom? Can you remember? Even if you can, your family or friends at home would like to hear from you. Call someone you know will be a good cheerleader and get the pep talk you need right now.
Use the resources available at GVSU – Grand Valley has a number of campus supports in place for students who are struggling with either school or personal issues. If you are having trouble with your classwork, see your professor or your TA to determine what specific options are available to you before the semester is over. The Tutoring Center can also assign you a tutor for most 100 and 200 level courses. The Fred Meijer Center for Writing and Michigan Authors offer support for the writing process in all of its stages from brainstorming to editing. The Math and Stats Center will help walk-in students with any kind of math difficulty.
For more personal problems, the GVSU Counseling Center is available. Students have access to an unlimited number of group counseling sessions or individual counseling if they prefer that option.
Sometimes taking a proactive step towards solving a particular problem can bring a lot of relief. Just doing anything is often much, much better than spending more time worrying. While it’s important to put your best efforts in, some basic caretaking will go a long way to getting you through this short period until the semester is finished. Remember, taking breaks are not just goofing off, they’re necessary and they help you recharge your brain so it can work harder and better. This is scientifically proven!
Many of these ideas are good to know for future semesters as well. Establishing healthier habits earlier on will help you limit stress as well.
As always, Meadows Crossing wishes the best for all of our students this semester. Good luck on all of your final exams and papers!