Where, when and how to de-stress leading up to finals week at Penn State

November 20, 2018

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The last day of classes at University Park for the fall semester is Friday, Dec. 7, which can only mean one thing: finals week is next on the agenda. Final exams begin Dec. 10 and end on the 14. Whether students have one exam or many, finals week can be a stressful time.

Penn State has many resources and activities available to ease the burden leading up to and during finals week. Check out some of the many ways students can take a break between study sessions and unwind after an exam.  

Attend a Life Hacks workshop: Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS), offer Life Hack Event sessions throughout the semester. Topics like how to deal with anxiety, learning how to set boundaries in your life, managing the stress of transitions and showing self-care are just some of the beneficial sessions available.

De-stress with Luke, the therapy dog: CAPS will offer their popular CAPS Chat de-stress hour with Luke, the CAPS therapy dog, in the HUB-Robeson Center from noon to 1 p.m. on Dec. 12.

Stop by the Relaxation Room: Health Promotion and Wellness offers a Relaxation Room in the Wellness Suite located in the Intramural Building, Room 020. The Relaxation Room is open 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday and is a great place to unplug.

The room features two biofeedback software programs and students can practice breathing exercises to reduce their heart rate and stress level. Coloring books, a Zen sand garden, puzzles, light therapy boxes, and brain massage audio tracks on two iPods are also provided. No appointment is necessary, and students are encouraged to stop by any time.

Practice self-care in the Wellness Suite: The Wellness Suite in the Intramural Building, Room 020, hosts a variety of activities throughout the year. Look for these end-of-semester workshops for tips and tricks on relaxation:

  • Pilates: 5:15-6:15 p.m., Nov. 29
  • Wellness Wednesdays: Every week from 4 to 4:45 p.m. Activities include guided nature walks with meditation and cloud gazing, creating a mind jar and unplugging from electronics or learning how to de-stress with a body scan and belly breathing.
  • Relaxation Meditation, part of the meditation series: 5:15-6:15 p.m., Dec. 4

Get active with Campus Recreation: Exercise is a great way to relieve end-of-semester stress. In addition to stopping in to one of the fitness centers on campus, Campus Recreation offers drop-in group exercises, instructional classes, personal training and wellness workshops.

"Unplug," a class that teaches students self-help strategies, gives students an hour for themselves to calm the chaos. In the class, an instructor leads mediation, breathing exercises and visualization techniques.

Hop into the HUB-Robeson Center: During finals week, the HUB, normally buzzing with activity, will host quiet study hours in several event spaces and conference rooms 24 hours a day.  In addition, students can also find different activities and programs throughout the week, including movies sponsored by Student Activities. 

Take a break with some tunes: The Student Programming Association (SPA) will host their Noontime Concert Series on Friday of finals week, featuring Micah.

Fuel finals week with food and study breaks: The Center for Spiritual and Ethical Development will be hosting multiple events for students to use as a study break in the Pasquerilla Spiritual Center.

  • Multi-faith Meditation Monday: 1:30-2:30 p.m., Dec. 10, in Room 118
  • Pizza Party: 5 p.m., Dec. 10, in the lobby of the center
  • Hot Breakfast: 9 a.m., Dec. 11, in the Garden Room
  • Arts and Crafts: Noon-4 p.m., in Room 126
  • Wrap It Up Wednesday (free lunch wraps): 11 a.m. in the lobby of the center
  • Work Hard, Play Hard (board games and XBOX): Noon-4 p.m., in Room 126

Counseling and Psychological Services, Campus Recreation, Health Promotion and Wellness, the HUB-Robeson Center, Student Activities, and the Center for Spiritual and Ethical Development are all units of Penn State Student Affairs. For more information on activities throughout the semester, visit studentaffairs.psu.edu or follow Penn State Student Affairs on social media @PennState411.

Last Updated November 21, 2018