Published: Nov. 18, 2020
JB Banks

Buffs, the end of the semester is right around the corner. The last few weeks can be stressful in a normal semester for many students, and those feelings of stress may be more amplified right now.

I know many of you are tired. Learning, living and working in the middle of a pandemic has been challenging. Current events and the recent election may have caused additional stress and anxiety this month. But you are almost done and the finish line is in sight. I have some advice to help you make it through the end of the semester.

Make time to relax and recharge

With the long holiday weekend coming up, I strongly encourage you to find time to relax and recharge. If you can, get outside for a long scenic walk or bike ride. Find a screen-free activity to do with a roommate or family member. You could do puzzles, play a board game or color—whatever you enjoy that doesn’t involve technology! Turn your phone off or leave it in another room, even for an hour. Taking a short break from screens and a mental break from your academic responsibilities can help you feel motivated and ready for finals.

Make it a point to take care of yourself

During stressful times, it’s more important than ever to take care of our health and well-being. To stay healthy through finals, do your best to get enough sleep (7-9 hours each night), eat regular and balanced meals, stay hydrated and find time for physical activity. And as COVID-19 cases increase across the country, please continue to follow health and safety guidelines—especially if you are traveling over the next couple of weeks.

No matter where you are, I encourage you to keep yourself, your family and your friends healthy and safe by wearing a face covering in public spaces, staying physically distanced from others and washing your hands regularly. Review these tips for safe travel if you plan to head home—students are encouraged to complete a COVID-19 monitoring/surveillance test 48 to 72 hours before traveling.

Make your voice heard

In the Division of Student Affairs, we work to support you throughout your CU Boulder journey. Learning about your experiences helps me advocate for you as your dean of students. Your feedback and input helps us know how we can best support you and meet your needs.

As we close out the fall semester and look forward to spring, I want you to know that you have a voice in your student experience. And I’m here to listen. I’ve enjoyed our conversations this semester as I’ve been working to be a “dean on the go” at pop-up office hours, virtual meetings and walks around campus. I look forward to connecting with you more and continuing these conversations.

And if you’re looking for new ways to get involved next semester and want to make your voice heard, I encourage you to consider joining CU Student Government and other student organizations.

Remember, I’m here for you and we are all rooting for you to finish strong over these next few weeks. Please take care of yourselves and use the support resources available to you if you need them. You got this!

JB Banks
Dean of Students and Associate Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs