Published: April 23, 2021

Buffs, the finish line is in sight and we’re almost there! With finals starting this weekend, I want to encourage you to remember the goal. I know it can be challenging to stay motivated right now, but you’re almost done and I have some advice to help you make it through finals.

JB BanksFinish strong

As we finish out the semester, visit for resources, tips for managing stress and more. 

If you’re struggling with something—maybe you’re stuck on a concept discussed in class or having trouble with a project—it’s not too late to ask for help. Use your resources and reach out to your faculty, teaching assistants and classmates with questions. Additionally, you may have something of value to contribute to someone who could use encouragement. 

Students, please avoid long study sessions and all-nighters if you can, and take short breaks when you are studying. Try focusing on one topic for 20–25 minutes and then take a five-minute break. Use your short break to stretch, take a quick walk outside or grab a snack, and then repeat the cycle. Find balance between your studies and time for things that you enjoy. 

Stay connected to your community

During stressful times, it’s helpful to stay connected with your friends, family and community. This may seem like a busy time of the year, but keep hanging out with your group and checking in with each other. If you have developed a pod or bubble with close friends or roommates during the past year, make time to eat and study together. Reach out for support and partner up with a friend or roommate to help keep each other motivated with studying through the end of the semester.

The Division of Student Affairs is hosting many events over the next couple of weeks for students to take a break and de-stress before finals. I encourage you to attend a few events and connect with fellow Buffs before the end of the year.

Focus on mental health

This has been a tough year for many of us. Through finals and over the summer break, I encourage you to take care of yourself and your mental health.

Personally, one thing that helps me recharge and take care of myself is to find new ways to step outside of my comfort zone. I’m always looking to grow and learn new things, so finding different activities to do that I’m not familiar with helps me in that way. For example, I am pushing myself to try different foods and explore new recipe ideas. 

I encourage you to make time to relax and recharge, and do things that you enjoy. Get outside and find gratitude for the warmer spring weather. Take technology breaks and try some screen-free activities like reading, doing an escape room or playing board games with your roommates. If you’re looking for new ways to practice self-care, review this list of ideas to try.

We all have been tested by this year’s pandemic and you have worked hard to overcome a significant amount of challenges. With all that’s going on, continue to be considerate and kind to yourself and those around you. As we near the end of the semester and celebrate the accomplishments of our Buff family, I encourage you to continue to act with integrity, honor and compassion wherever you are. 

To our senior Buffs who are graduating this semester, I’d like to extend an early congratulations. You’ve shown resilience and persevered through a difficult time. I am proud of you and wish you the best in your future endeavors. Furthermore, pursue your dreams and the career that you have prepared for over the years. Work toward your true passion in life and find what works for you in your search for employment. 

Buffs, I’m here for you and rooting for you. You got this! We got this!

JB Banks

Acting Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs
Dean of Students and Associate Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs