Prepping for Finals Week

Can you believe that final exams are right around the corner? It seems like we went from week 1 to week 14 in 60 seconds. I know it can be especially tricky to find motivation to focus and study when we just came back from a nice, relaxing Thanksgiving break. All I want to do is sit on my couch wearing sweatpants and watching endless seasons of Grey’s Anatomy. Trust me–my textbooks never seem more appealing than Netflix. So, it’s a good thing that Ohio State gives us a day off to gear up for exams. This beautiful day is called Reading Day.

You might be thinking: “What the heck is Reading Day?”

Reading Day falls between the last day of classes and the first day of exams. This year, Reading Day is on Thursday, December 10th. This day is meant to be used for studying and preparing for exams. So, it’s the perfect opportunity to get your notes organized from every class, print off those study guides, and try not to drown in the endless piles of notecards (maybe that’s just me…) However, this is also a really good way to take a moment to breathe and collect yourself before the stress of exams becomes overwhelming.


Here are some helpful ways to relax and de-stress: take some time to stretch, head to Berry Café and treat yourself to a latte, watch an episode of your favorite show on Netflix, or just laugh with some friends (my personal favorite.) You can also check out these fitness classes and sessions held at the RPAC, Union, and Younkin Success Center.

The Office of Student Life works very hard to put together activities and events to help students alleviate some stress during the week. Whether you venture out across campus or stay in your room to study, it’s very important to give yourself a break. Stress and anxiety can build in the days and weeks leading up to finals, so take some time to clear your head and re-focus your energy. I know it can seem counterproductive to take a break and “lose study time,” but even a 15-minute break can supply more benefits than you think.

Stay tuned for some fun events put on by yours truly, the Peer Leader staff! We’re available to help you figure some studying or time management strategies, find ways to relax, or answer any other questions you might have!

Feel free to reach out to your Peer Leader, or you can email me directly at:

When Stress is Too Much

School is stressful. And having a little bit of stress in your life is good—it keeps you motivated and makes life interesting. But too much stress can be unhealthy. And other times, stress is a symptom, not the problem. So, when is stress too much to handle and when is it time to figure things out? Well, let’s take a look at a couple indicators of when you might need to take your stress to a doctor.

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor, and what I say should not be used as a reason to NOT go to a doctor. If you have any question about it at all, it is better to get it sorted out as soon as possible!


Here’s the real deal: typical stress has a lot of the same symptoms as many other underlying causes. Take clinical depression, for example (I am EXTREMELY passionate about depression). Both stress and depression share the symptoms of feeling bad about yourself, avoiding others, feeling overwhelmed and a lack of control, and becoming easily agitated or moody. A lot of other physical health issues have similar symptoms, as well. So, how do you know whether stress is the problem or if stress is just a symptom? My general rule of thumb for this is if you experience five differences between your normal self and your “stressed out” self, you should see a doctor. For me, if I am experiencing a difficult time sleeping, a lack of motivation, an agitated mood, and two other symptoms, I know that I need to go to my doctor! Once again, this is not all-encompassing. Even if you have just one symptom, you still have reason to go see a doctor. Always check with your doctor if you have any concerns.

Time period

Stress is usually dependent on the stressors of your life. These stressors may include family or social pressures, upcoming midterms or assignments, a lack of sleep, etc. But when the stress lasts even after the stressor is gone, you might want to take a closer look at it. My general rule of thumb is two weeks, but this is just a recommendation. If you notice any of the symptoms talked about previously that last more than two weeks, check with your doctor!

How it affects your daily life

Especially regarding mental health, a big factor in treatment is how your life is affected by the illness. But for anything in life–if you notice a decline in your grades, a decline in enjoyment in fun activities, or a decline in your social life–it may be a reason to check with your doctor. Stress should only impact your life in minor ways. In my experience, the agitated mood I used to get would negatively impact my relationships with everyone I interacted with on a daily basis. And when I realized that I was losing my friends because of my mood, I realized I needed to make a change!

And finally…

Whether the issue is stress or something more, there is help available! Check out the many resources the Counseling and Consultation Services has to offer by going to their website or by going to Let’s Talk, which offers free and confidential drop-in consultations in the Lower Level Meeting Room at the Union on Thursdays from 2:30-4:30. Or go to the Wilce Student Health Center for a check-up and overall health care. You can make an appointment online, by phone, or in person. Maybe you just need some time to relax and destress or learn about stress and time management. If this is the case, you can check out the First Year Success Series to register for a session, and get credit for your survey class!

Being stressed out in college is normal–but not a reason to deny yourself help if you become over-stressed or if you need some time to de-stress. Being proactive and listening to your body will benefit you in the long run, especially if something else is contributing to your feelings of stress. Put your wellness in a professionals hands. Your future self will thank your present self.