Take care of yourself during finals week

EMMA KOEHLER, Managing Editor

On-campus resources

UNI Counseling Center

UNI’s counseling center is student support for mental health conditions, issues and struggles along with mental health awareness and suicide prevention resources. The center has a list of great resources at wellbeing.uni.edu/counseling-center/resources. 

As stated on the UNI counseling center’s website, as an enrolled student paying the mandatory health fee, “Therapy groups, crisis appointments and five individual therapy sessions per academic year are provided at no additional charge.” 

More information about the center can be found at wellbeing.uni.edu/counseling-center.

“Students who are struggling with stress and/or their mental health can utilize a variety of resources that are available,” said Riley Rodemaker, Counseling Center Graduation Assistant. 

“First, the UNI Counseling Center provides walk-in crisis counseling Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. when classes are in session. This service is free and unlimited for all UNI students. Furthermore, the UNI Counseling Center also provides the Let’s Talk services which consist of four trained graduate students that spend time at different areas of campus to provide free support and resources to any UNI students. For more information about Let’s Talk, please wellbeing.uni.edu/counseling-center/outreach-training-lets-talk. Lastly, the UNI Counseling Center also provides a free 24/7 crisis phone line that is available for students. “You can access it by calling 319-273-2676 and pressing the number 2,” Rodemaker said. 

Student Health and Wellness Services

If you are interested in improving all or some parts of your overall wellness, Student Health and Wellness Services can help. Through the Eight Dimensions of Wellness, students can determine where they may be lacking in their wellness journey. Wellness coaching is also offered, “covered under the mandatory health fee.” 

Find more information about Student Health and Wellness Services at wellbeing.uni.edu/student-wellness. 

Immediate help

If you are in need of immediate help or support, text the Crisis Text Line with ‘HELLO’ to 741741 or call the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline at 988.

Tips to make it through finals 

Find a form of self-care you enjoy.

Self-care looks different for each and every person, whether it be reading a book, going for a walk, coloring, sleeping, etc. Do something you enjoy and one that can relieve your mind of your responsibilities or looming assessments. Be sure to check out Destress Days in the Maucker Union Ballrooms Dec. 5, 6 and 7 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Destress Week Dec. 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. in Rod Library. 

“I also think it is important to reach out to your social supports when you are having a hard time,” said Rodemaker, “Maybe that means reaching out to a family member or a close friend or a peer mentor or even someone from the Learning Center. Remember that asking for help is actually a sign of courage, not weakness.”

Plan it out.

Make sure you know your finals schedule, as it is a little different from your normal course schedule. With those times scheduled, set some time aside to study for these final exams. A little hack is to set a timer to study for 25 minutes, with a break for 5 minutes when the timer goes off and repeat as needed. Be sure to also set aside down time to decompress after you complete a final or after you do some studying to prevent burnout. Plan in a little reward when the week is over, as a way to say “I did it!” and a way to celebrate all your hard work you have completed this semester. 

Back to the basis: sleeping and eating.

Through all the stress and odd scheduling of finals, make sure you are still eating and sleeping accordingly. If it helps, schedule what times you will attend or make meals. Worried you might not have energy to cook meals? Meal prep the Sunday before the week starts. Be sure to check out the Panther Pantry for any ingredients or snacks you may need, as it is free for UNI students. You need fuel to make it through the final week of the semester! 

Build your motivation.

Students everywhere are feeling the end of the semester burnout, the end is just in sight but you have to get through one more exam-heavy week to get there. It might be hard to find motivation, but set yourself up for success by building your motivation in preparation for finals week. Leave yourself encouraging notes, create or find a groovy playlist, stock up on coffee or refresh your space to build your determination to finish the semester strong. 

“At the end of the day, remind yourself that you are not truly alone and that you are always more than a single test or assignment score,” said Rodemaker.