Defeating stress on finals week

Tips from fellow Hamline students on stress relief, an overview of upcoming de-stress events at Hamline and campus resources.

Lucy Severson


With finals week approaching, many Hamline students are beginning to prepare for the upcoming exams. The word “exams” might evoke different emotions for everybody, but there’s no question that finals week can be a stressful one for many students. 

According to, during finals week “45% of American college students claimed to undergo “more than average stress,” while 33% of students reported “average stress” and 12.7% saying it is “tremendous stress.” Students who reported “no stress” or “less than average stress” combined for 9% total.” 

In light of these statistics, it is now more important than ever for students to set aside some time during the upcoming week to relax. Members of the Hamline community volunteered to share some of their own stress management strategies that students can implement to help during this stressful week. 


Student input 

Raine Lentz, a first year and leader of HUMM (Hamline University Mindfulness and Meditation) shared some of their tips. 

“Writing helps a lot,” they said. “You can write poetry or fiction or you can even just rant. Diaphragmatic breathing is good too because it gets your body out of fight or flight. Having a good sleep schedule definitely helps.” 

HUMM holds meetings from 6- 7:00 p.m. on Thursdays in the Wellspring on the third floor of Anderson. They offer free yoga and meditation practices every week. 

“Doing yoga and meditation can help to bring you back in your body and keep your mind from spiraling,” Lentz told the Oracle. 

Studies show that yoga and meditation practices are highly beneficial for college students. According to the National Library of Medicine, the Yogic practice impacts emotional sensitivity, sustained attention, mental performance and balanced personality traits among students, which are all ways of improving academic performance. 

“Yoga also reduces perceived stress and negative effects in college students thereby improving psychological well-being in them,” the National Library of Medicine said. 

For students who cannot attend HUMM’s yoga classes on Thursdays, Hamline student org RISE Yoga Club offers yoga classes on Monday nights at 7:00 p.m. in Walker Fieldhouse 34. 

Another Hamline student, sophomore Jack Wertenberger, offered some of his own stress management strategies. 

“Some of the things I do with stress management, especially during finals week, is make sure to still designate time for fun,” he said. “I think if we take way too much time worrying about our grades and studying, we can’t expect to do well, unless mentally we are in check. Making time for yourself and doing things you enjoy can boost your morale.”


Upcoming de-stress events 

There are several upcoming events being held on campus to help students prepare and de-stress before finals. Some of these free events include: 

  • Learn stress management strategies and play fun games at De-Stress Fest – Location: Anderson 111, 112 and forum at 4:30 p.m. on Dec. 6 (hosted by Peer Wellness Educators) 
  • Kickback, relax and eat some soup at the First 100 Days Soup Celebration – Location: Anderson Forum at 1:00 p.m. on Dec. 7 (hosted by New Student Programs)
  • Enjoy food, prizes and a costume contest at the Late Night Study Breakfast – Location: Anderson second floor at 8:00 p.m. on Dec. 8 (hosted by Residential Housing Association) 
  • Have a cozy place to study with hot chocolate and cookies at the Final Study Cafe – Location: Anderson Forum at 11:30 a.m. on Dec. 9 (hosted by Hamline University Programming Board)
  • Grab some snacks and coloring sheets at WRC (Women’s Resource Center) Snacks for Finals – Location: ANDC 320 at 1:30 p.m. on Dec. 9 (hosted by the WRC)
  • Participate in fun alien-themed activities, enjoy food from the Piper Grill and lots more at the End of Semester Party – Location: Anderson 1st Floor at 6:00 p.m. on Dec. 10 (hosted by Hamline University Programming Board)

Students can check the Presence app for more details about these upcoming events. 


More student input

Raine Lentz will be working the Spirituality Scholars table at De-Stress Fest. 

“At De-Stress Fest, there will be various standing booths with aromatherapy, massages, therapy animals and different skills and stress tips for finals,” they said. “Everything feels stressful when it’s finals week, but it’s not the be all and end all of everything. Take care of yourself.” 

Sayer Keeley, a first-year at Hamline, offered some of his stress management tips.

“For me, stress management primarily consists of mapping out what I need to do and when I can do it,” he wrote in an email. “When everything is a jumble in my head, it makes it a lot harder to feel capable of overcoming the stress. But when it’s laid out in front of me, I can begin to tackle everything in a more successful way!” 

Jack Wertenberger highlighted the importance of knowing your limits as a student. 

“I try to make sure I designate a certain amount of time to study, but also, only for a maximum of an hour at a time,” he said. “I need to take a break after an hour, otherwise stress will just overwhelm me, and I won’t be able to retain any information. Most importantly, as silly as it sounds, I make sure I eat. Making sure you eat enough and treating your body with respect will only help you feel better about yourself and your studies.” 

Hopefully, students can keep some of these strategies in mind and finish the semester strong as they power through finals week.