Story by Bridget Gibley, Staff Writer
Photo Courtesy of Nina Gropp
Early December brings first snowfalls, the beginnings of holiday cheer, and lots of stress over finals. Final exams at Aquinas are the week of Dec. 12-16, which means that the week before that is Exam Cram week.
Exam Cram offers students opportunities for help with studying and getting ready for exams, as well as much-needed breaks from that studying. AQ Dining setup coffee and snacks in the Library Piazza Dec. 5-8, providing caffeine for students who stayed up late working on projects.The Latin Student Association held a Fiesta Social at the Moose on Dec. 5, with Mexican hot chocolate and snacks. Campus Ministry hosted an “Ice Cram Social” on Dec. 6, as a study break and to provide for all your sugar-rush needs. Finally, there was an Exam Breakfast hosted by Student Affairs on Dec. 12 from 10 to 11 p.m.
But it wasn’t all refreshments. For those who wanted to buckle down and crank out the last papers of the semester, the AQ Writing Center, Residence Life, and the Grace Hauenstein Library hosted “AQ Get it Done” on Dec. 7, from 8-12 p.m. It was an event to get that paper done, study for that final, finish that project… whatever students needed to work on, they could work on it there. Writing consultants and librarians were on hand to assist, and pizza and prizes were there to motivate.
In the mood for something to do other than study? Swingin’ Saints, Aquinas’ swing dancing club, held an Exam Cram Swing on Dec. 7, encouraging students to take a break from studying and dance out the stress. The Music Club hosted an “Exam Cram and Jam” on Dec. 9. And of course there were several sporting events, including hockey games on Dec. 2-4 and basketball games on Dec. 10.
There were also events specifically designed to relieve students’ stress during this time, including “Mellow Me Out in the Moose” by AQPB and aromatherapy by the Advantage Center. But what do students do when these events are over? How do they deal with the stress of exams?
Some students find their stress relief by getting into the holiday spirit, drinking hot chocolate and watching Christmas movies. Some choose to release endorphins by working out. Other healthy options include eating foods high in antioxidants, like fruits, and reducing caffeine intake (while that might seem impossible, it will help with relieving stress overall). If all else fails, say a few prayers and watch some cute puppy videos.
Exam season is a difficult time, and it can seem like the only important thing is this next paper, or this final. But take care of yourselves, Aquinas. Remember, you should be your first priority. The Aquinas community emphasized this message with the Exam Cram events, making a stressful time a little less stressful.