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Events aim to lower stress during final exams

Finals Week events
Multiple events will seek to help UNG students relieve the stress of final exams.

Various events during final exams will aim to alleviate stress for University of North Georgia (UNG) students.

Student Counseling, Career Services and Nighthawks Entertainment are teaming up to host a De-Stress Fest from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Dec. 5 in the Robinson Ballroom at the Student Center on UNG's Gainesville Campus. Pet therapy dogs, 15-minute massages, arts and crafts, and games will be available to help students unwind.

Christy Morrison, office administrator for Career Services, will bring pet therapy dogs from Happy Tails Pet Therapy organization, which at 27 years old is the oldest and largest pet therapy group in Atlanta, to the Gainesville Campus De-Stress Fest.

Morrison has been called upon many times to bring pet therapy dogs from Happy Tails to both the Oconee and Gainesville campuses. She recalled a time when her dog, Snoopy, walked through an entire class of students and chose to sit down next to one girl. When asked if she was having a tough day, the girl revealed she was very sad because her dog had just died.

"Those are the kind of things that happen on a regular basis," Morrison said. "The dogs feel and understand what the students feel. They don’t judge and they spread unconditional love, which brings smiles and helps students calm down."

Student Counseling and Student Disability Services are holding a similar pet therapy event with the group CAREing Paws set to visit from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Dec. 10 in the Hoag Great Room on the Dahlonega Campus, followed by Student Counseling's own certified disability dog, Gizmo, being available from 2-3 p.m. that day in the same place. The groups are encouraging students to de-stress by stopping by to pet the dogs.

Starting on the first day of finals, each campus library will hand out reusable metal water bottles with candy inside, wishing students good luck and advising them to stay hydrated.

The Blue Ridge Campus has scheduled several events, too. It will hold "Warm-up for finals" with hot apple cider, fried apple pies and caramel apples Nov. 26-28. A "Pizza and Papers" tutoring session will be held twice the week of Dec. 3-7, as well as "Math Desserts" featuring math tutors and desserts multiple days that week.

Blue Ridge Campus Director Sandy Ott said students should check the bulletin board for a full schedule of events.

The Oconee Campus is holding a "Relaxation Day" from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Dec. 5 in room 726, featuring yoga, coloring and puppies. It will also be providing breakfast in the Atrium Dec. 10-12.

The Cumming Campus Student Government Association is serving Chick-fil-A for breakfast, lunch and dinner Dec. 13.

In light of final exams, some counseling and library staff offered ideas to deal with exam stress. Among them were:

  • Know where the various testing centers are on each campus.
  • If you need blue books or Scantrons, do not wait until the day of the test — get them ahead of time.
  • Beyond proper sleep, hydration and nutrition, think about wearing layers so that you can adjust to the temperature where you are studying. Remember to stretch and walk around after an hour or two (and never leave anything of worth unattended).
  • Pay attention to your professor: Sometimes, but certainly not always, instructors will provide hints about what might appear on the final. So listen attentively in class.
  • Ask yourself when you are reviewing materials how you could explain it to a friend. Ask yourself what doesn't make sense in the materials you are reviewing and then work to find the answers.

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