Counseling Center offers ways for students to de-stress during finals


Photo illustration Beth Gilomen

By Paolo Cisneros

The words “finals week” may conjure up a great deal of anxiety and fear among the University student body.

Westley Scott, sophomore in LAS, said he associates the word “stress” with finals week.

“I had a girlfriend last year, so that kind of screwed it up,” he said. “Girlfriends take a lot of time.”

Girlfriends or not, there are a number of distractions that can keep students from studying, and services provided by the University may help offer a solution. The Counseling Center, 610 E. John St., offers students the tools they need to effectively manage their study time and turn finals week into a less stressful experience, said Deidre Weathersby, a counselor at the center.

Weathersby added that she encourages students to begin studying ahead of time.

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“The Counseling Center Paraprofessionals Program recently gave a performance entitled ‘Avoiding the Cram’ which is really what we want students to do,” she said.

However, now that finals week has arrived, the Counseling Center will continue to provide individual and group counseling sessions to help students who are feeling overwhelmed. Sessions can be scheduled on a same-day basis by calling the center. These sessions offer students the opportunity to sit and talk confidentially with a counselor to discuss issues he or she might be dealing with. Once the session is over, the counselor will work with the student to decide what the next step should be.

“In addition to our counseling services we offer a large selection of self-help brochures that can help students deal with whatever problem they might be facing,” Weathersby said.

The brochures aim to provide practical advice in addition to listing more resources for students. They cover a broad range of topics, and many have been fully translated into foreign languages, making them more accessible to international students.

Whether they take advantage of the Counseling Center’s services or not, finals week necessitates that students find their own individual ways of coping with the stresses that invariably come with a week of testing.

“For me, the biggest thing is getting out of my room, because it’s full of distractions,” Scott said. “If I see my bed, I want to lay in it. If my roommate’s playing Halo, I’ll want to play too. As long as I’m away from all of that, I’ve found that I can get a lot more accomplished.”