STARKVILLE, Miss.--For local and area university students feeling stressed or overwhelmed by final exams crunch time, a counseling leader at Mississippi State is offering some helpful--and healthy--tips.
In addition to the concluding class tests, Leigh Jensen said some other major stressors of the moment typically include final papers and projects, coupled with the reality of seeing close friends a last time before the holidays or, possibly, for a long while if they are graduating.
There also is the transition back to home environments, the director of Student Counseling Services added.
"Their 'home' for the semester has been MSU, and they have had little parental supervision and lots of freedom," Jensen said. "Stress about the rules for being back at home after being away is always present, as well as discussions of grades with parents."
To boost endorphins and, in the process, mood, many students attack stress through exercise programs at recreational facilities, which at MSU is the Joe Frank Sanderson Center. Sanderson will operate under regular hours through Dec. 13.
In the Colvard Student Union, a free program is the STRESS graFREEti Art Gallery Show, located through Dec. 14 in the second-floor art gallery. Sponsored by the Center for Student Activities, the activity encourages students to draw from 10 a.m.-1 p.m., Mondays-Fridays. The display is open from 8 a.m.-10 p.m. daily.
Some other stress-dealing tips offered student by Jensen include:
--Focusing on sleep, hygiene and use of relaxation and meditation techniques;
--Scheduling time to relax with friends and connect prior to leaving for home; and
--Remembering that family members don't always know how you've changed during the semester. Make time to discuss what has been learned both academically and personally.
As for parents, Jensen said returning students may need to hear how they feel about the just-concluded semester, including what home and back-to-school expectations they may have.
The key for both students and parents is effective, two-way communication, she stressed.
Student Counseling Services offers daily meditation groups, stress management techniques throughout the semester, as well as individual and group counseling, as needed. For online resources, visit www.health.msstate.edu/scs.