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Events planned to relieve stress for students during finals week

Hard-working students will have plenty of opportunities to release nervous energy during the week of finals.

As final exams bring stress and anxiety to the lives of college students, the University of North Georgia (UNG) will provide students chances to relax that week.

Dr. Kel Lee Cutrell, associate director of Student Counseling, knows that it's necessary for students to take intermittent breaks while studying.

"The brain cannot hold but so much information at once," she said. "When the student takes a needed break, it allows the brain to solidify the information being studied. The break can also allow for built-up nervous energy to be released in a healthy way."

Students will have plenty of opportunities to release nervous energy.

Nighthawks Entertainment on UNG's Gainesville Campus is teaming up with Student Counseling, Career Services, and the Psychology Club to host the annual De-Stress Fest from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Dec. 4 in the Robinson Ballroom. They will have therapy dogs, massage tables, games, crafts, and free food.

Christy Morrison, administrative assistant for Dean of Students Alyson Paul on the Gainesville Campus, brings therapy dogs from Happy Tails Pet Therapy to the Gainesville Campus as an annual tradition to help students. Happy Tails is a local organization that believes in the power of therapy dogs to help balance emotions and battle anxiety.

The stress relief events are not limited to one campus, however.

The Student Government Association (SGA) on the Cumming Campus will host a stress relief event from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Dec. 2 in the first-floor lobby.

Nighthawks Entertainment on the Dahlonega Campus is planning its annual Stress Relief Comedian with Ice Cream at 6 p.m. Dec. 4. Additionally, the Dahlonega SGA will host its annual Midnight Breakfast event at 10 p.m. Dec. 5 in the Dining Hall. SGA President Walt Chapeau believes the event gives students the opportunity to take a much needed break.

"Midnight Breakfast is hosted every semester by SGA on the Thursday before finals week," he said. "The goal is to bring faculty, staff and students together for a night of free food and a chance to take your mind off the stressful upcoming week of studying and test-taking."

The Oconee Campus will sponsor a Relaxation Day from 1-2 p.m. Dec. 4 in Wellness Hall 726.

Associate Dean of Students Stacie Rowley said in her experience, it is important for everyone, especially students, to relax during stressful periods.

"It is very important to include breaks in your studying, whether it be from finals or any other types of tests," she said. "It allows the mind and body to recharge."

In light of the approaching final exams, upperclassmen have a few words of advice for first-year students:

  • Don't stress! The worst thing to do before a final is worry. Relax. You know the information.
  • If you can, study alone. Studying and collaborating in a group works for some, but studying alone always seems to make students retain more information. Make flashcards, too!
  • Drink lots of water and eat well. You may not realize it, but staying hydrated and healthy can drastically change your mood and energy levels during an exam.
  • Start reviewing the information days in advance. Don't wait until the last minute to study.

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