How to deal with the stress of finals week


Matt Escamilla, Staff Reporter

With finals week approaching, it’s important for students to know that the university offers multiple activities on campus to help manage stress.

Brooks Library will be hosting two events during finals week. Paws and Relax on March 11 from 4 – 7 p.m. in room 288 and Waffle Night on March 12 from 8 – 9:30 p.m. in the fishbowl.

Paws and Relax features therapy dogs of several breeds. A minimum of four will be available for students to hang out and de-stress with. Some of the therapy dogs have done Paws and Relax multiple times. Students can hang out with the dogs as long as they want, but if it gets busy, people may be asked to give someone else the opportunity to spend time with them.

Waffle Night features free food, coffee and tea for students studying in the library. Collection Development Librarian and Interim Associate Dean of Libraries Ginny Blackson said having that sense of community is important during finals.

“It does mean the world to a student when their professor moseys in at nine o’clock at night and sits down and eats a waffle with them,” Blackson said.

According to Blackson, Waffle Night has featured special guests in the past, including officers from the CWU police department. President Gaudino and his wife have also attended.

“We saw and heard from students that they needed some way to unwind,” Blackson said.

Erin Reeh, Health Education Coordinator for the Health and Wellness Center said health and wellness will host a night at the carnival with inflatables. There will be a bungee run, where students will see how far they can get before being snapped back by the bungee cord. The carnival will also have a basketball inflatable, the goal being to make as many shots as you can in a minute. A jousting inflatable will also be available. Other activities at the event will include karaoke, board games, a video game room and a photo booth. Cotton candy and  popcorn will be provided. The Night at the Carnival will be held in the SURC from 9 p.m. to midnight on Saturday March 9th. This will mark the 8th year of the event. According to Reeh, 300-500 students typically show up to the carnival.

The Health and Wellness Center will also have art therapy, where students can paint, draw and color. The event will also include video streaming of Bob Ross via inflatable television screen. All art supplies are included, although there will only be 30 canvases that are first come, first serve. Students can reserve a canvas by signing up for one in the Wellness Center now. If all canvases are reserved, students can still join the event. It is advised they bring something to paint. Art Therapy will be on Monday, March 11 in the SURC pit from 5-7 p.m.

The Health and Wellness Center gives students opportunities to decompress that don’t involve drinking or using other substances.

“The weekend before finals is a higher risk night for substance use, like alcohol. Late night carnival is an opportunity we provide for students who want to engage in a substance-free night,” Reeh said.

Coming up with a finals week strategy can be a challenge for some students.

Kacie Little is in her last quarter at CWU. She is completing her MFA     in English creative and professional writing. She says planning ahead and communicating with professors is a key to her success during finals.

“I get started on my finals weeks before they are due. If it is a paper I do my research about 3-4 weeks in advance and then either submit an outline or draft to my professor to make sure that I am on the right track,” Little said.

Jonnae Richardson, a senior in ITAM, suggested doing one thing at a time and to do enjoyable things like listening to music. In her previous business classes Richardson would prepare note cards and join study groups if possible.

“I would look at what the final is or ask what the final is ahead of time maybe a week or three weeks ahead so you have time and not cram everything in.” Richardson said.