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The end of the semester can be a very stressful time for students, especially if this is the end of their first year. While they are in command of their own academic success, there are several ways you can support them while they work through the last week of the semester.

Remind them of campus resources

Does your student need a place to study? Are they struggling to finish a writing assignment or having difficulty with a set of equations? The VCU New Student and Family Programs website has a resource list under our VCU Families tab that can help identify a variety of resources from VCU Libraries and the Writing Center to Transportation or Career Services.

Provide moral support – but not too much

Whether it’s a text message wishing them luck or a letter in the mail, your student will appreciate hearing from you and knowing that you are thinking of them as they wrap up the end of the semester. Just ensure you don’t overdo it! As they take time to study in between exams they may not have time to talk on the phone or respond to a message right away. Just remember that they may be busy and will get back to you as soon as they can. What may feel like supportive questioning may be misinterpreted by busy students as additional stressors when they already have a lot on their plate.

Encourage stress relief and brain breaks

Studying so long that they can barely function isn’t good for any student. Encourage them to take regular breaks to eat and do something fun. Even taking the time to watch an episode (or two!) of their favorite show could leave them feeling calmer and better prepared to jump back into studying than if they stayed up all night to put in work.

Speaking of being up all night…

Remind them to sleep! Getting a good night’s sleep and eating regular meals can do wonders for their brain power. Going into an exam cranky and tired from a sleepless night won’t help them get the best grades that we all know they can achieve. Adopting an “I’ll sleep when exams are over” viewpoint will only lead to burnout.

Categories Advice for Students & Families