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Tips for Juggling the End-of-Semester Stress

By Lilyen McCarthy

Thanksgiving break has just ended, which means that the longer break between semesters is that much closer. But between us and that break are end-of-year projects and finals. Adelphi’s Student Counseling Center (SCC) finds the end of the semester and holiday season in general to be the most stressful on a majority of the student body.

Kennie Cervantes (third from right) and the eBoard for the Gender and Sexuality Alliance. Cervantes said that while he can get overwhelmed by his workload, periodic breaks give him something to look forward to.

“You guys are just so hard on yourselves when it comes to academics. It doesn’t help that holidays can add to the stress for all situations, those going home, those staying here and those who don’t have a home to return to,” said Erin Furey, Health, Outreach and Promotion Coordinator for the SCC. “Setting boundaries is difficult, especially boundaries with family.”

Stressing over finals can be harmful to your health, both mentally and physically. Furey said, “During finals, students stay up late to study, forget to eat and lack self care in general. The more time you spend tearing yourself down, the less you spend building yourself up.”

Redirecting anxious energy into something productive can calm the stress. Some options could include organizing, going on a walk, getting a load of laundry done or reading a couple chapters of a book just for fun. Completing a task outside of schoolwork during a study break can help you get back to a long study session.

Sophomore Kennie Cervantes handles stress by giving himself something to look forward to during more overwhelming weeks. “If I have a test on Monday, I’ll go out to the UC or 7th Street with my friends if I have free time.”

In addition to majoring in computer science and minoring in communications, Cervantes is the public relations manager of the Gender and Sexuality Alliance (GSA), a Peer Assistant Leader (PAL), and a clerical assistant at the Division of Student Affairs. So he already has a busy schedule before finals.

“On a good day, I have anywhere between five and eight hours of work. I do get stressed out by the overwhelming workload,” he said. “Most of the time I’ll give myself something to look forward to and make sure to take periodic breaks throughout my work.”

Academics easily take over most aspects of life, but at the end of the day, self care triumphs a test score. It is easier said than done, but taking some time to do a face mask, meditate or go to bed early instead of worrying over final projects and essays is often beneficial. Taking the time to fuel your body throughout the day, drink plenty of water, get enough sleep and take care of your general health is always important. Taking care of your body seems like a secondary priority during stressful times, but hunger and fatigue don’t help a stressed mind while studying or sitting in class during final review.

Junior Miguel Velasquez said he has had to learn to handle stress, often with little time to do so. He is a history major in the Scholar Teacher Education Program (STEP) on an adolescent education track. He’s also part of Greek life in Pi Lambda Phi and the InterGreek governing council, the Student Activities Board (SAB), a Resident Assistant (RA) for Waldo Hall, a social media intern and works off campus for the county executive. Juggling so many activities, he had to come up with many different ways to handle the stresses of school.

“Something that helps me is to map everything out,” Velasquez said. “Prioritizing the right things at the right time means the unknown will be known. I delegate responsibilities and remember that it’s okay to ask for help. I listen to a lot of music. Lately my favorite artists have been Jhene Aiko and Sza.”

Velasquez added, “My favorite activity to relieve stress is going on drives with friends just to rant and build relationships with other people outside my own residence hall.”

As students, balancing academics, a fulfilling social life and maintaining basic health can become difficult. For extra help, contact Adelphi’s SCC services at 516-877-3646 or

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