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Help is Here for Finals Season

University Sponsors Stress-Busting Programs

Students pet stress-relief dog at the Campus Rec Center. Photo by Anne Ruthmann
Therapy dogs help calm frayed nerves during final exam season.

By Sheila Eppolito

It’s that time again: Finals season is approaching, and stress levels among students and faculty are on the rise. Thankfully, plenty of people across the university can help with creative, fun and free tools.

Here is a sampling of stress-busting strategies.

Stress Relief Day

Come relax, have fun, exercise and unwind before finals at the Campus Recreation Center, Friday, April 29 from 3 to 6 p.m. A host of fun and healthy activities, raffle items and giveaways are planned. This event is free and open to all UMass Lowell students with ID. For more information, check out Stress Relief Day webpage.

What’s on tap: 

  • Free chair massages and Reiki massage
  • Arts and crafts
  • Snacks and refreshments
  • Tips on sleep, fitness, nutrition and wellness
  • Therapy dogs 
  • Live music

Peer Tutoring 

Free peer tutoring in all majors is available all semester in four campus locations through the Centers for Learning and Academic Support Services (CLASS). More than 14,000 students received help last year. Why not check it out?

No appointments are necessary – except for writing support. Drop in at:

  • Southwick Hall 321/320
  • O’Leary Learning Commons, 1st floor
  • Fox Hall, 1st floor
  • UMass Lowell Inn & Conference Center, 8th floor

Need Help Organizing? 

Write Night Photo by Tory Germann
Students took advantage of Write Night, where faculty and tutors helped with end-of-semester papers, essays and final presentations.
CLASS also offers time-management and study-planning tips, including a guide called Countdown to Finals which offers students a step-by-step, day-by-day timeline to assist them with organizing their study and leisure time in the weeks leading up to final exams. 

Got Sugar?  

During final exam period, CLASS offers lemonade and cookies -- students are invited to drop by North and South campus locations, visit a tutor and have a nosh.

Healthy Self-Care Stress-Busting Tips

Suzanne Nobrega, project director at the university’s Center for the Promotion of Health in the New England Workplace (CPH-NEW), says that healthy self-care will go a long way in managing stress, and offers several suggestions:

  • Get enough sleep. Memory and learning continue during sleep, so lock in the material you study by sleeping.
  • Get daily exercise and enjoy the feel-good endorphins and calm they produce afterward.
  • Eat well. Students need energy to sustain mental effort, so get lots of high-fiber foods and healthy grains.
  • Hang out with supportive friends to study and exercise.
  • Consider adding daily quiet meditation — it’s calming and restorative.
  • Make a schedule (and stick to it!) to gain a sense of control.
  • Reward yourself with positive affirmations.

Counseling Resources for Students

Sometimes, situations are more serious, and stress becomes overwhelming. The university’s Counseling Center in Suite 300 at University Crossing is here to help. Students with all kinds of struggles come to the Counseling Center for support. There is no problem too small or insignificant to talk about. Some students come in once or twice if they’re feeling overwhelmed by classes or adjusting to college life; others come in a bit more regularly for ongoing stressors such as anxiety, depression, family illness, etc. The important thing to remember is that there is no wrong reason to come in, only right ones.

  • All students are eligible to receive services from the Counseling Center. For more information, call 978-934-6800.
  • Counseling Center services are free.
  • Appointments are required to meet with a counselor (with the exception of emergencies) and can be made either in person or over the phone during general office hours.
  • In an emergency situation, students should come directly to the Counseling Center or call the UMass Lowell campus police: 978-934-2911.
  • Everything discussed with a counselor is confidential. If, however, there is a direct threat of harm to self, others or child negligence, by law the counselor is bound to report to the appropriate authorities. 
  • The Counseling Center keeps its own records for therapeutic purposes. Academic records remain completely separate from Counseling Center records.