Countdown to Finals

The temperatures this week are not at all consistent with the last week of classes.  It’s going between the 70s, 60s, and mid 50s for most of this week, which is considerably warmer than a typical December.  Yesterday I saw many a student in shorts.  You have to love the South.

With the last week of class, tempers can be running high as students deal with the pressure of upcoming final exams.  I have spoken to several students and parents in the last several days about academic difficulties or other issues students are experiencing.  For parents hearing those concerns over the phone, it can be hard to know when it is the stress-of-the-moment talking and when there is a real problem for the student.

In these moments of stress – and with impending holidays – students might not feel so happy. The University Counseling Center is here as a resource for students who are experiencing difficulty and need some assistance in dealing with those issues.  The Chaplain’s Office, Resident Advisers (RAs), academic advisers or trusted adults are also there for students who need it.  The Counseling Center has some specific holiday stress tips that might help parents and students alike.

A colleague of mine sent me an article from USA Today’s collegiate correspondent about “Knowing When It’s Too Soon to Transfer.”  This article helps provide some perspective on things a student might do to change up his/her college routine and discover new friends, activities, and resources before making a very big decision to go elsewhere.  This article might be especially good for first-year students, especially those who are really wound up about finals.

It’s easy at this time of year – students and parents! – to feel rushed and hurried.  Our colleagues at the Medical School have a web page about Mindfulness, which is a way to help focus on the immediate experience and senses, and let go of worries and stress.  If you think this is a link your students might enjoy, pass it on to them!

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