Robbie Short

As the end of the semester approaches, libraries and residential colleges are preparing to host events during reading period to help students de-stress and prepare for final exams.

Robert B. Haas Family Arts Library will host a therapy dog session on Monday at noon, and Sterling Memorial Library will hold a Zumba class in the evening. On Tuesday, the Haas, Bass, Medical and Vincent libraries will hold a “Long Night Against Procrastination,” an event during which students can prepare for final exams with snacks, coffee and short breaks designed for stress relief. Bass Library and the Center for Science and Social Science Information will hold dog therapy sessions on Wednesday, and CSSSI will provide pizza to students in the evening.

“I know that stress levels shoot up at this time of the year before finals,” Yale librarian Kelly Blanchat said. “But there is one thing to remember that a lot of students might forget — Everyone that works at Yale is here to support you. Come bother us! We’re here, happy to help, and it’s what we do for a living.”

Additionally, Haas Library will provide puzzles, coloring books and origami for all students during reading period, and coffee and tea will be available at Bass Library after Bass Cafe closes, from Monday to Thursday next week.

First-year counselor Caitlin Dermody ’18 told the News that library study breaks have been particularly useful in relieving stress in recent years.

“It’s such a great time to completely take your mind off studying,” Dermody said. “Obviously, I love how they have delicious late-night snacks, but I really appreciate how people gather for these study breaks. There’s a lot of solace and a sense of community.”

Residential colleges will also host study breaks during finals week. According to Ezra Stiles Operations Manager Marc Levenson, these events include tree decorating, midnight breakfast, and gingerbread-house making contests, among others.

Still, students interviewed by the News said they were getting increasingly anxious as finals week approaches.

“I’m generally not stressed, but as I get closer and closer to my exams, I feel like I really should’ve done more during the semester,” Adriana Arcia ’21 said.

In particular, first-year students said they were nervous because they do not know what to expect from their first-ever college final exams.

Zach Miller ’21 told the News that although he knows roughly what will be on his tests, he feels a “weird type of stress” because he cannot predict what the testing environment will be like.

Igor De Souza, an English lecturer who teaches a Directed Studies philosophy seminar, told the News that although taking finals for the first time may induce anxiety, students must keep things in perspective.

“It is really important to not measure your self-worth in terms of your intellectual performance,” De Souza said. “When we professors give tests, we are not assessing how smart you are or how good of a student you are, but how good you can do on a particular exercise. How you do on one final is not going to make any difference when you stand on the podium and receive your diploma.”

Dermody also emphasized that it’s more important to celebrate what you have learned in the past semester, rather than worrying about a single grade on a paper or test.

“Think about all the things that you’ve learned in the past four months and know that your entire semester has prepared you for finals,” Dermody said. “Trust yourself. You will take those exams and write those papers and get it done.”

Reading period starts Friday at 5:30 p.m. and final examinations will begin at 7 p.m. next Thursday.

Serena Cho | serena.cho@yale.edu