If you’re asking me

Destressing over finals

Skyler Schad

More stories from Skyler Schad

If you’re asking me
October 4, 2023

Photo by Marisa Valdez

Fall time is the best time for improving your mental health.

Dear reader,

It’s that time, finals are upon us once again. I know I’m not the only one who can’t believe we’re actually at this point in the semester. It truly doesn’t feel real yet.

All of the homework is starting to pile up, and I am beginning to feel the pressure of all of the due dates stalking my calendar. I no longer feel like I can relax without worrying about something.

I know how important it is for me to find ways to destress during finals. It’s very important to step away from all of the final exams, assignments and essays to take a moment to breathe.

There are some great opportunities to destress in the upcoming weeks, and they won’t even take too much time out of your day.

The first is Bark Break. Bark Break is happening on May 12 on the Campus Mall from 11 a.m. to  1 p.m. Staff and faculty will sit on the lawn with their dogs, and students can come up and get some dog therapy.

Even if you just spend 20 minutes walking around petting dogs, it can make a great impact on your mental health.

Another good way to destress is to get outside. Take a walk by the river, sit outside on the grass or hammock in the park. It’s always good to take the time and get out in nature. The days are warming up, so you must take advantage of them.

One of my favorite things to do is grab a snack and a drink and bring my picnic blanket outside. I pop in my AirPods and just relax in the sun. It’s ok to take that time for yourself.

An event that I have yet to attend is Pancakes with Chancellor Jim in the library. From 7 to 9 p.m. on May 16, our own Chancy Jim will be flipping pancakes and serving them to students.

While I haven’t gone myself, I have heard a lot of great things about this event. Grab some friends, put down that textbook and head to Lower Campus for a sweet treat.

Another fun thing to do with friends is to go to the Midnight Breakfast at Riverview Café, also known as Hilltop or “the caf.” It goes from 9 to 11 p.m., and wearing pajamas is allowed and socially accepted.

I went last semester, and they had an ice cream sundae bar, raffles for awesome local prizes (even Kiwibot plushies), games and lots of breakfast food options. Everyone likes breakfast for dinner, right?

My final tip for destressing is to just take at least 10 minutes here and there to do something you enjoy. Pick up a book, throw on your favorite TV show, grab your journal or scroll through TikTok. It’s ok to take time to yourself.

Don’t feel guilty when you take a break from studying. It’s actually better if you give your brain a break, so take the time to do something fun.

You will succeed and I know you will do great on your finals. Don’t be too hard on yourself, take it one step at a time and set aside time to destress.

You’re almost there. Just less than two weeks left and you’ll be home free.

You got this.

Lots of love and hugs of encouragement,


Schad can be reached at [email protected].