How to Survive the Final Days of Fall Semester

Hilary Bentman, Associate Director of Communications
Four students studying at a table in the library

December hits different around here. Facts.

Final exams. Final papers. Final group (argh!) projects. It’s giving Eagles fourth quarter stress.

But have no fear: we’ve got some tips and tricks to get you through the last couple weeks of the semester and to help you finish strong 😤

From study tips to self-care recs, here are 10 steps to surviving what’s left of fall term:

1.    Breathe. 

Just vibe. Take a second for yourself. Grades are important, but your health and wellbeing are paramount. Remember to always practice self-care.

2.    Ask for Help.

The Math Center, with a sign on the glass doorway

The brain isn’t braining? The math isn’t mathing? Then it’s a perfect time to drop by the Writing Center, the Math Center, your professor’s office hours, or other campus resources. 

Check-in with a peer tutor, make an appointment with Student Success or your First-Year Academic Coach. 

They’re here to help.

Feeling behind? You are not behind. You are exactly where you need to be because every obstacle is a necessary step forward. Asking for help is the bravest question anyone can ask.” — Kim Robinson, executive director, Student Success and Retention

3.    Take a Break.

Are you reading the same paragraph (even this one) over and over again without understanding it? That’s a sign you need a few moments to chill. The experts at Widener’s Counseling and Psychological Services suggest you “take a few minutes to rest and look at something that is far away (look out a window, walk around) so your eyes can have a break, too.”

4.    Find your Go-To Stress Reliever. 

Feeling burnt? Listen to music, practice yoga, color, work out, or give yourself an hour to catch up on your favorite show. Whatever it is, find the stress reliever that works for you – then use it and benefit from it.

We asked our students how they relieve the stress. Here’s what they do: 

@wideneruniversity 🎶🧘‍♀️😴🏋️‍♂️… our students share their best stress relievers #FinalsWeek #FinalExams #stress #StressRelief ♬ original sound - Widener University

5.    Stop by a Campus Stress-Busting Event. 

We’ve got therapy dogs, late-night breakfast, death by chocolate, a fitness challenge through Pride Recreation Center, and more. More deets below.

6.    Don't Wait Until the Last Minute.

We admit it, we procrastinate, too. But don’t wait until the day before it’s due to start the 10-pager, or cram all night before your 8 a.m. microbiology exam. It’s time to break the procrastination cycle, and now is a perfect time to do it.

7.    Make a Plan. 

Time management is key to success, and so is your planner (whether it’s old-school paper or a color-coded Outlook calendar). And it feels pretty good to check things off as you finish them. Keep your priorities straight.

Write down your priority list for the day and celebrate the wins at the end of your day.  Go on that mindful scavenger hunt each night to recognize your dedication to your academic plan and you will wake up feeling positive and ready for the next day of exams.” — Kim Robinson

8.    Reward Yourself.

A student drawing and coloring at a table in the library

Having trouble staying motivated? Try setting a timer for 20 minutes and complete as much as you can in that time. Then take a 5-to-10-minute break with some kind of reward (candy, a walk around the building, coloring, scrolling on TikTok, breathing exercise). 

Repeat as necessary!

9.    Baby steps. 

Each assignment you do gets you one step closer to finishing. Break your assignments into smaller pieces that are more manageable. The same goes for exams: studying smaller portions of info over a longer period can help the material stick. Baby steps add up to giant leaps.

10.    Keep your eye on the prize. 

Remember why you’re here.

Define your success, create your academic support plan, and take advantage of enrichment opportunities that propel you forward.” — Kim Robinson

The More You Know:

The Wolfgram Memorial Library has extended hours from Dec. 3 through 15, closing each day at 1 a.m.

Two students petting a therapy dog in the University Center Atrium

Snacks will be available each night. There are whiteboards and convenient study spaces, and places to relax and unwind.

Physical exercise can help you manage stress and anxiety, as well as improve your brain health. Yes, please! 

Visit Pride Rec for a workout, join an ongoing group fitness class, or check out the fitness incentive program that runs through Dec. 8 (complete 8 workouts and win a prize). 

Events to Help You Manage the Stress

NOV. 29
11 a.m. to 1 p.m. | University Center Atrium
Elf Day Destress
Join the School of Nursing and Active Minds in festive destress day!

DEC. 4-8
Alpha Omega Epsilon will be making stress balls outside of the Pride Cafe in preparation for finals week.

DEC. 7
7 p.m. | Lathem Hall
Death by Chocolate
The most delicious event on campus is back! Chocolate makes everything better.

DEC. 8
8 p.m. – 11 p.m. | Pride Cafe
Late-Night Breakfast
An absolute fan favorite. There’s breakfast, music, dancing, and more!

DEC. 11
11 a.m. – 3 p.m. | UC Atrium
Stressbusters hosted by Pride Activities Council
Yes, there will be therapy dogs, plus DIY self-care kits. Did we mention pups?

DEC. 12
7:30 p.m. | IceWorks, Aston, Pa.
Ice Skating & Ice Hockey
Take a break for ice skating, and stay to cheer on the ice hockey team at their game at 9:30. Sponsored by Pride Rec.

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