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University of Dayton Activities Help Finals Week Stress

Finals week is a stressful time for college students, so the University of Dayton is offering a variety of stress-busting activities — and advice — to ease anxiety for students, ranging from free food and beverages to therapy pets to massages.

Finals week is a stressful time for college students, so the University of Dayton is offering a variety of stress-busting activities — and advice — to ease anxiety for students, ranging from free food and beverages to therapy pets to massages.

Therapy dog Rosie will be on the second floor of Roesch Library from 4 to 5 p.m. Monday, May 6; therapy miniature horses will be on the portico outside the west entrance to the library 4 to 5 p.m. Tuesday, May 7; and therapy bunny Rocky will be on the second floor of Roesch Library 5 to 6 p.m. Wednesday, May 8, for petting and playing. 

Click here for more information about Roesch Library finals week activities.

In addition to activities at the library, students also can burn off nervous energy at the RecPlex, which will be open around the clock May 5-11 and offer free group fitness classes. Visit the campus recreation website for a full schedule and list of classes.

Students up late shouldn't feel anxious about their safety walking home, either. Roesch Library and Kennedy Union will offer free cab rides for students to their residences midnight to 6 a.m. May 5-8. 

Therapy pets and similar activities and amenities have made finals week appearances at several colleges and universities nationwide. 

They are fun ways to de-stress, according to Linda Rodgers, counselor for the University of Dayton counseling center, who has taught workshops on test anxiety. She said one of the best ways for students to combat test anxiety is to create a coping structure to support their bodies as well as their minds.

"Develop a schedule and set a time to study," she said. "It's a good strategy to take mini-breaks, and I'm always an advocate for exercise. Find a way to put that in as well."

Other tips from Rodgers:

  • Get enough rest the night before. Don't do all-nighters.
  • Know when to cut off the studying for rest, exercise or a relaxation break.
  • Take advantage of fun relaxation breaks many schools offer — chair massages, dance breaks, therapy dogs.
  • Make sure you eat breakfast.
  • And don't underestimate the smell and taste of success.

"Have a piece of peppermint candy in your mouth during the test," Rodgers said. "It's an interesting trick, but it works. Peppermint can slow you down a bit and relax you."

More than 2,000 students will receive their degrees during the University's spring commencement exercises this month in University of Dayton Arena. The School of Law's graduation is 9 a.m. Saturday, May 4; it will hold a baccalaureate service at 4:30 p.m. Friday, May 3, in the Keller Hall courtroom. The commencement ceremony for graduate students is 12:45 p.m. Saturday, May 11. The undergraduate commencement ceremony will be 9:45 a.m. Sunday, May 12.

The University will hold a baccalaureate Mass at 4:30 p.m. Saturday, May 11, also in University of Dayton Arena.

More information about spring commencement exercises and live streams of each ceremony can be found here.

For more information, contact Shawn Robinson, associate director of news and communications, at 937-229-3391 or srobinson1@udayton.edu.


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