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Support for College Age Children during Finals Week


Dead Week and Finals Week describe those infamous last weeks of a college semester when stress is at an all-time high for college students.  Being a parent of two daughters in college, my concern is not only about their grades, but also their mental wellness during this challenging time.  Trying to be supportive from afar can help my daughters manage their time and handle their stress.  Some ways to offer that support might include:

  • Helping them get organized – suggesting that the girls make a to-do list of final assignments and a schedule of their final tests to encourage them to do one thing at a time and not get too overwhelmed.
  • Reminding them of campus resources – by doing a little research on my own, I can check into tutoring services, campus counseling sessions, or even free food events on campus to help ease their stress.
  • Communicating that I care – sending simple text messages, making short phone calls or even mailing cards wishing my daughters good luck are nice ways to acknowledge this stressful time in college.
  • Encouraging sleep and breaks – even though it might be tempting for them to skip on sleep during finals, informing my daughters that good sleep will improve their test scores and academic performance. Also, sharing with them some coping strategies for relieving stress by taking walks, listening to music, or building in a break for fun will help them recharge and not become overly stressed.
  • Sending a care package – a kit or basket with favorite snacks, coffee, or a fluffy blanket would be especially appreciated during finals week. Just that little extra something from mom can be very helpful for college age kids!

It can be difficult to see my daughters full of anxiety and stress about final exams and projects.  While still giving them needed space, I can also support them, encourage them, and remind them of some simple stress relievers from afar.  Although my daughters are no longer at home, I can provide them with ideas to stay focused and healthy during this most stressful time of the school year.

Resources:

  1. https://www.parenttoolkit.com/college-and-career/advice/stress/7-ways-to-support-college-students-during-finals
  2. \http://www.mentalhealthamerica.net/most-stressful-time-semester-finals
  3. https://tbirdnation.suu.edu/8-ways-to-support-your-student-through-finals-week

Lori Atkinson, Operations Director for The Kim Foundation, http://www.thekimfoundation.org/

Lori Atkinson joined The Kim Foundation in May 2015. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Nebraska – Lincoln in Middle Level Education. She was an 8th grade English teacher in the Omaha Public Schools from 1992 – 2000, a stay at home mom for several years, and then started a small non-profit in her husband’s memory during 2010. Lori carries out many duties for The Kim Foundation which includes:  scheduling presentations in the community, hosting booths at conferences, managing the Art & Creative Writing Contest, coordinating the School Resource Fair, organizing the Suicide Prevention PSA Contest, assisting with the annual luncheon, and participating in the coalition’s community outreach group.  Lori is the proud mom of three children and is actively involved in her church.

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