On Friday December 9th, our podcast hosts Deziree and Reace sat down with student health center staff member Carly to discuss what students can do to reduce finals week stress.

With finals quickly approaching, students are experiencing a heightened period of stress as they begin to take exams and turn in their final papers. Dez raised the first question:

What resources does the Health and Wellness Center have for students during the finals season or for students experiencing stress in general? 

A:  There are three types of resources that the student health center can provide:

  1. Medical aid: Nurses are on campus full time from Mondays to Fridays, along with part time doctors. It’s important especially during times when we should maintain a healthy immune system, so if you feel the first symptoms of a cold, be sure to see our medical staff. 
  2. Counseling services: There are counselors on campus that offer free services to all NYU Shanghai students, also available on Mondays to Fridays. If you are feeling overwhelmed or in need of additional support, you can made an appointment with one of the counselors. 
  3. 24/7 Wellness Exchange: The hotline number for the Wellness Exchange is 20599999, which is also on the back of your NYU ID card, can be called at any time. This hotline can provide urgent support with mental health concerns 

Carly also mentioned that she oversees the calm corner, which is available for all students in room 614. The calm corner is open every afternoon and offers students self-care and relaxation supplies. They also offer specific programs weekly and with finals approaching the calm corner will be hosting meditation and mindfulness sessions. Carly stated that these sessions are “a great and not very time-intensive way to get yourself sort of reset and relaxed.” 

    The calm corner for the next couple of weeks will have:

  • A shorter lunchtime drop-in meditation on Tuesdays and Thursdays. 
  • A mindfulness group session on Wednesdays .

*For specific information please look for the Monday Evening Newsletter or check Engage. 

When asked about personal recommendations for managing finals stress, Carly responded that it is all about balance. She states this could mean things like “work that we need to get done for school, some of our other commitments if we have on-campus jobs or clubs or extracurriculars…as well as any social commitments you might have.” 

She mentioned that during this time it is important to remember to be kind to yourself, both mentally and physcially. Adding that habits we have when we are stressed such as eating junk food or staying up all night can put additional stress on our bodies, so it is important to be mindful not to destabilize our bodies in order to prevent additional stress.

Sleep was also raised as an important factor to maintain during periods of heightened stress. Stating, “Our brains work alot better when we’re getting some rest,” Carly elaborated that it is important to remember that we are more productive after we have a good night’s rest. 

Her last recocomendation was to think about breaking up work by setting small realistic goals as well as exercising. She added that we should “think about what’s the right balance for you to keep your body active in a way that makes you feel happy, it makes you feel energized, but not exhausted.” 

As a last bonus question Carly shared some suggestions that could help students who are missing home during this holiday season. 

She recommended a couple things she believes can be helpful whenever you miss your family and friends. 

  1. Scheduling family zoom calls. 
  2. Sending or getting gifts from family and friends.
  3. Spending time with “chosen” famly in Shanghai, adding that there is a feeling of unity among those who are away from home, so you can have small get togethers which sometimes act as mood boosters. 

Additional Contact Info:

Carly Siuta; Senior Specialist, Health Promotion and Student Well-Being.

How to get in touch with the Student Heath Center to make a doctor or counseling appointment: 

Room 605: open Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. 

Email: [email protected] 

Call: 20595353