How to to Offer Consolation During a Stressful Exam Week

Spring has sprung! The flowers are blooming! The air is getting warmer and the end of the year is coming to an end. Our students are getting ready to finalize their end of the year.

This is the time of year when they get a little extra stressed and some panic may set in. They have worked hard all year and they know that summer is coming. Along with worrying about exam week, they may be worried about getting a job over the summer, going home after being gone so long or even getting their belongings all packed up. They may be concerned about having their final exams and term papers all due at the same time and how they are going to get everything completed on time. This is normal. Remind them it is ok to worry a little. It will all work out. If they are concerned about places to study, OU has a multiple places on campus for them to find a nice quiet place. (This article from OU about the best study spots on campus might even be helpful!) Bizzell Memorial Library is open until 2 a.m. most evenings and during finals week, May 2-8, it is open 24 hours. In  their dorms there are quiet study rooms. If they need quiet, encourage them to find that spot that works for them.

Tell them to keep their eye on the OU Campus Calendar to find some events to de-stress. OU’s Union Programming Board always hosts events with yummy snacks, and the library has been known to bring in therapy dogs, give massages (ooh la la!) and host a game room in the Helmerich Collaborative Learning Center (bottom floor of the library).

If you get a phone call or text from your student upset or anxious about their exams, let them know that all will be fine and this will soon be all over. It’s part of college to worry. Sending cards of encouragement and support is a great way to put a smile on their face and keep them motivated. Let them know that you are proud of them. Stick some money or maybe a gift card in a card so they can take a break and go out to eat or meet up with friends. If you live close (unlike me) take a road trip and take them out to breakfast at Syrup or the Diner, or to dinner at the Library or the Mont. Take a walk around the beautiful OU campus and get some fresh air. If visiting is not an option, sending a box of goodies is always a nice treat. Don’t just send junk food. They need healthy snacks to keep them charged for all the studying they are doing. Some good ideas are fruit, nuts, popcorn, trail mix, granola, maybe some gum and a snack that is their favorite.

Before they know it, the exams will be over and they are heading home. I wish everyone a smooth exam week and a great summer.



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