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A student visits with a HABIT dog in Hodges Library during winter finals.

As final exams draw near, many areas of campus are offering ways to help students focus, unwind, or both.

Classes end this Friday. Monday, April 29, is a study day. Finals begin Tuesday, April 30.

The first step of being ready for finals is staying healthy.

Dr. Spencer Gregg, a physician in the Student Health Center, said getting enough sleep is key to surviving this time of year. Lack of sleep and heightened stress go hand and hand.

“Stress and anxiety levels go through the roof during exams,” said Gregg. “People can get short-tempered. It’s important to cut each other some slack and remember that everyone’s under tremendous stress.”

Gregg also said that cramming can do more harm than good because all-night study sessions interrupt sleep habits. To try to keep students on track, Gregg offers these tips:

  • Stick to your regular sleep patterns. Day time naps won’t compensate for missed night time sleep, and a lack of sleep can result in physical symptoms such as body aches and drowsiness.
  • Keep caffeine intake within healthy levels. The Mayo Clinic recommends that healthy adults limit their caffeine to between 200 and 300 milligrams per day. An eight-ounce cup of coffee averages 133 milligrams of caffeine, while a twelve-ounce Coca-Cola has thirty-four milligrams.
  • Wash hands regularly to avoid illness.
  • Students should never take prescription drugs that are not prescribed to them. In Tennessee, it is illegal to knowingly give prescription medication to someone if it not theirs.

Ashley Blamey, director of the Safety, Environment, and Education (SEE) Center, echoes Gregg’s tips.

“Success and sanity during exam time is not only about studying, but also about taking care of yourself,” she said. “Although it is tempting to binge on junk food and coffee, your mind can only handle so much sugar, caffeine, and grease.”

Blamey recommends students start with a balanced breakfast, limit fast food, and drink at least eight eight-ounce glasses of water each day. She also encourages students to carry an alcohol-based hand sanitizer gel and avoid close contact with sick roommates or classmates.

The UT Counseling Center has resources available for students feeling overwhelmed while they prepare for final exams. Students may walk into the center, located in the Student Health Building at 1800 Volunteer Boulevard, or call the center at 865-974-2196 between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.

From ice cream socials to playing with puppies, many areas of campus have organized activities to help students keep some of their stress at bay.

Animal Therapy

Trained comfort animals from Human-Animal Bond in Tennessee (HABIT) will be on campus to visit with students and help calm their nerves.

Students can celebrate the end of classes with the HABIT animals from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, April 25, in Presidential Courtyard.

The HABIT animals will be on the fourth floor of the Communications Building in Room 440:

  • Monday, April 29—from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
  • Tuesday, April 30—from noon to 2:00 p.m.
  • Wednesday through Friday, May 1 through 3—from 10:00 a.m. to noon

The HABIT animals will be in the College of Law Library:

  • Monday, April 29—from 12:45 to 2:00 p.m.
  • Wednesday, May 1—from 11:45 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

The HABIT animals will be in the College of Veterinary Medicine Pendergrass Library:

  • Monday, April 29—From 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

The HABIT animals will be in the Hodges Library Room 258:

  • Monday, April 29, through Thursday, May 2—from noon to 2:00 p.m. and from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m.
  • Friday, May 3—from noon to 2:00 p.m.

De-Stress for Success with UT Libraries

All of the UT Libraries events are free and open to all students:

  • Ice cream social, 2:00 p.m. Monday, April 29, in the Library Commons
  • Chair massages from Knoxville Massage Therapy Center therapists, 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, April 29 through May 3, and Monday, May 6, in the Library Commons
  • Games, cartoons and coloring books available throughout each day in Hodges Library Room 251
  • Mental health and well-being tips from the Student Health Center, 10:00 a.m. to noon Monday through Friday, April 29 through May 3, and Monday and Tuesday, May 6 and 7

Coffee Break at the McClung Museum

The McClung Museum of Natural History and Culture will offer free coffee and a quiet place for last-minute studying between 8:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. on Monday, May 6, to students taking finals in the museum’s auditorium.

C O N T A C T :

Rebekah Winkler (865-974-8304,