Finals are coming up next week, and students are putting their best foot forward to ace this semester. The pressure to do well during testing can weigh heavily on many students’ shoulders. Peer Wellness coaches offer advice for those who may be struggling to find balance.
Peer Wellness Coaching is a free service provided by Health and Wellness Services at CU Boulder. Coaches help students set and achieve their wellness goals.
“Peer Wellness Coaching is a chance for students to meet one-on-one,” Peer Wellness coach and CU physics major Andrew Nyugen said. “We just give them resources as well as point them in the right direction. Whatever they need help with.”
Coping with stress
During this time, taking a strategic break can help students refresh and recharge. Taking breaks can also be essential to managing stress.
“Stress management—it can honestly look different for everybody,” Chyna Varner, Peer Wellness coach and CU student studying sociology and Spanish said. “I take as much breaks as possible, soo I don’t feel like I am either cramming or putting too much on my plate.”
Taking breaks can look different for each individual. Students can watch a movie, read a book, take a walk and more. A break can be whatever helps students refresh their minds.
“Naps are life changing, honestly, “ Varner said. “I’d advocate for taking a nap every once in a while when you just like, can’t stand up anymore.”
Studying on campus and desperately need a power nap? Try a nap pod at the Rec Center. Nap pods incorporate an ergonomic design, sleep music and gentle wake sequence—all designed to create the optimal environment for a power nap.
Along with napping, Varner also suggests playing video games or doing other fun activities. This is a good way to escape reality and give your mind a break.
One of the most common problems brought to coaches' attention is time management. Managing time can be different for everyone. It is important to find a sustainable method that works for the individual. Some examples may be using a planner or Google calendar to organize important events and due dates.
“I think a lot of students struggle with balance,” Nyugen said. “Ultimately, when it comes to having a schedule—whatever works for you—you have to like it so you can be consistent with it.”
Finding a strategy that works for you
Not all stress and time management strategies work for everyone. Adjusting tips and strategies to your specific needs can be helpful in finding a coping mechanism.
“My experience with stress management is that it’s definitely not universal,” Varner said.
Extroverts and introverts may have different coping styles, Varner explained. For some people, being around others is a great way to unwind. For others, they may need to take some time alone to reset.
Many college students struggle with procrastination, often waiting until the last minute to complete an assignment or study for an exam. One way to combat this is to take in smaller amounts of information at a time.
“You shouldn’t power through it,” Nyugen said. “What you should do is break it up into smaller chunks.”
Nyugen explains that studying in smaller chunks can help your brain memorize and process information better. In his experience with STEM, Nyugen realized that powering through large assignments was counterproductive.
“It’s better to do things in short chunks, and take breaks in between,” Nyugen said.
Peer Wellness Coaching is not a form of counseling or mental health treatment. Those who need mental health assistance can reach out to Counseling and Psychiatric Services (CAPS) by calling 303-492-2277. Those interested in Peer Wellness Coaching can sign up here.