Monterey Institute of International Studies

Puppies, Gingerbread Houses, and Massages: Creative Approaches to Combating Finals Stress

Finals Week

Students work on building gingerbread houses during the final week of classes in fall semester 2013.

December 6, 2013 - 12:00am

Who knew that the week of finals could include a free massage, cozy visiting time with rescued puppies, and a gingerbread house decorating adventure? Among the most stressful weeks of the year for any student, the last week of the semester is traditionally a time when everything is pushed aside to make room for long hours of studying and finishing off projects and papers.

“During this busy time of year we want to bring students opportunities to unwind an relax without the stress of classes,” says Megan Joyce, assistant director of Student Services, “and these events help accomplish that.” Many students welcome the distraction. Some even decorated their gingerbread houses to fit their studies, like Whitney White, who is studying for a joint degree in Business Administration and International Environmental Policy Studies (MAIEP/MBA ’14). Along with her friend Dawnielle Jacobson (MATI ’14), she designed Santa’s environmentally friendly dream house. They said their concept was very fitting for someone who steers away from fossil fuels anyway, as Santa relies on reindeer for his travels… "We gave him six solar panels for his house, and we have it oriented towards the south to take advantage of sunlight, and we also added a wind turbine for a little more energy.”

To all of our students: keep calm and good luck on those finals!