Aaaaaahhhhhhhh!!!!! It’s that dreaded last stretch of the semester where assignments are piled high and stress levels are even higher. Final exams and papers are sure to suck up a lot of your time, but hopefully everyone can find a little time to destress. Because finals are scary.
But don’t fret.
The Spectrum staff has compiled some of their preferred methods to fend off stress as classwork and commitments pile up.
You don’t have to be a studio art major to enjoy the benefits of creating your own art. Studies show that making art can significantly reduce stress. Whether your preferred tool is the paintbrush or the crayon, a few hours indulging your inner artist will leave you without a care in the world. If you don’t know where to start, walking through the art-adorned halls of the CFA can provide boundless inspiration.
- Moaz Elazzazi
Take a walk and talk aloud to yourself
If you’ve been stuck on an assignment for hours and feel stuffy inside, nothing will reset your mind better than a walk through the great outdoors. I recommend taking the beaten path between the Mathematics Building and the grassy hill next to NSC and Rensch Loop. You can experience a less dense part of UB where you can think aloud to yourself. There’s nothing more relieving than releasing all your worries out into the air, and while it seems embarrassing to be releasing private thoughts in such a public place, trust me, no one cares. If you need to, put on some headphones to make it look like you’re speaking to someone.
- Tenzin Wodhean
Cook yourself something better than chicken nuggies
Sure, there’s nothing wrong with throwing some pizza pockets in the air fryer or boiling a pot of Kraft macaroni and cheese after a long day of classes. But even college students deserve to eat something nicer than instant ramen every once in a while. Cooking is a great way to focus on a simple task, productively procrastinate, and make a healthy and delicious meal. Poor, bad at cooking, or short on time? No problem. You can find tens of thousands of cheap, easy and/or quick recipes on the internet. Pro tip: if you share your culinary creations with your roommate(s), you can guilt them into washing the dishes.
- Grant Ashley
Watch a movie at AMC
We come to this place for magic. You go to AMC to laugh, to cry, to care. That indescribable feeling we get when the lights begin to dim. And we go somewhere we’ve never been before; not just entertained, but somehow reborn. Those dazzling images, on a huge silver screen. Somehow, heartbreak feels good in a place likе this. Our heroes feel like thе best part of us, and stories feel perfect and powerful. Because at AMC, they are.
- Rachel Galet
Light a candle and read a book
Sometimes the easiest way to relax is to block out our world by escaping into a different one. Find a book in your favorite genre, set some mood lighting, build a nest of blankets and too many throw pillows, and fall into a fun story without the stress of studying.
- Xiola Bagwell
I recently took to the soft illumination of scented candles to help myself relax after long days at school. Pair this with soft sheets, a good book and some background music, and your troubles will melt away.
- Ryan Tantalo
Talk to roommates about what is stressing you
Is this just a form of procrastination? Maybe, but taking your mind off the task at hand is a great mental reset and may allow you to find a new angle of approach. Who knows? You may even be able to help each other.
- Matthew McCulloch
Write in a journal
When racing thoughts become too overwhelming, it can ease your mind to sort them out on paper. Write a rant, a to-do list or whatever feels right. It doesn’t need to sound good; you can write it down and never look at it again. Take a breath, grab a pencil and get your thoughts out of your head.
- Emma Mendola
Play some video games
Sometimes all we need is to turn off our brains and immerse ourselves in a fun virtual world. Even if you don’t have your own gaming computer or console, you can go to LevelUp in Lockwood, where there are computers and console gaming lounges. If you prefer a quieter gaming space, head over to Red Jacket Quadrangle’s gaming lounge. Just don’t go when you have a class or they won’t let you log in.
- Ricardo Castillo
Lay on the floor and listen to something
Sometimes you have to ground yourself. Literally. Laying down on your floor, importantly not in your bed (just trust me), lets you just chill for a bit, especially when you’re sitting in those uncomfortable campus chairs all day. And if you’re like me and don’t enjoy laying in silence, put on some music, an audiobook or a podcast. Just let yourself vibe for a little while.
- Darcy Winter
Take a walk or bike ride on the Ellicott Creek Trail
Get out of the stuffy tunnels, and get a breath of fresh air on the Ellicott Creek Trail. Tucked behind the Ellicott Complex and South Lake Village on UB’s North Campus, this paved path runs for nearly six miles through scrubby woods along the quiet Ellicott Creek. You’ll spot all kinds of suburban wildlife, from deer and turkeys to waterfowl and rollerbladers.
- Sol Hauser
Set healthy boundaries
The last thing you need when you’re stressing about school is for your friends to be pulling you away from your studies too often. It’s easy to be convinced to go to the bars or goof off, but you might find yourself wishing you had studied or finished that paper instead. Often what will reduce our stress the most is communicating healthy boundaries, taking time to ourselves and doing what needs to be done. Your friends will understand.
- Dominick Matarese
The pressure and stress from assignments, exams and looming deadlines can become overwhelming as the semester draws to a close. Yoga serves as an excellent stress reliever during this demanding period. Its practice focuses on controlled breathing, gentle movements and mindfulness, offering a holistic approach to calming the body and mind. Engaging in yoga at the end of the semester allows students to release accumulated tension, alleviate physical strain from long hours of studying, and clear mental clutter, fostering a sense of tranquility and relaxation.
- Katherine Gaynor