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Dealing with the Stress of Finals

By Alexa Turczynski

As the semester comes to a close, students may be beginning to feel the stress of major projects and finals. With multiple deadlines coinciding, it can be difficult to get adequate amounts of sleep, exercise and relaxation, which can contribute to feeling overwhelmed as the fall semester wraps up. Luckily, UD has plenty of resources to help students stay calm and healthy.

Junior Michelle DeRoche works two jobs on top of classes and running for cross-country.

"It can be stressful when you don't feel like you have enough time to get everything done," she says. What helps Michelle stay calm and focused is going out for a run. This allows her to be alone to let out the stress and gives her more energy to work. "While I run, I can also think about the projects I'm working on, be it solving a problem or sorting out ideas."

Working out is a great way to let off steam and stay healthy. According the University Health Center at the University of Georgia, just 20-30 minutes of exercise per day can make you feel better, give you more energy, improve your sleep and relieve anxiety. There are plenty of clubs on campus to help students stay active while having fun: swing, Zumba and sailing, not to mention various Dallas Year activities like paint balling or rock climbing.

Perhaps even more important than staying active is getting enough sleep. Dr. Dekat, UD's health physician, talks about prevention of illness:

"The most important thing is going to be getting adequate sleep. I know it's hard with papers and tests, but sleep will actually help your brain function better...It's important to get sleep before you get sick and then, of course, to actually sleep while you're sick, since sleep helps in cell repair."

Lack of sleep not only makes you more susceptible to illness, but can also cause stress, weight gain, lower GPA and anxiety. Even as we are near the end of the semester, it is never too late for students to establish a sleeping ritual to help them fall asleep and get a consistent amount of sleep each night.

When life is balanced, studying comes more easily. Health Services at UD provide study tips to help students be productive. Among these tips are balancing work and life, establishing a routine and seeking study resources (find out more at http://udallas.edu/offices/healthservices/healthwellness/studytips.html). UD provides tutoring in multiple areas of study with tutors who are always willing and able to help: http://udallas.edu/parents/pdf/2013_fall_tutoring_schedule.pdf

In addition, the counseling center staff, Dr. Dekat and the campus ministers are always ready to offer help and encouragement. Mary Armstrong, one of UD's campus counselors, encourages students to seek advice whenever they think they need it. "When a person is under prolonged periods of stress, and they don't get spiritual, emotional or mental help, they run the risk of developing depression."

Among the multiple resources UD offers, from the Health and Wellness Center to tutoring, students can find ample support in staying strong, healthy and happy in the last weeks of the semester.

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