As final exams approach and winter makes itself felt, it can be easy to forget about student groups. We’re here to remind you of the many benefits to keeping up your participation in these groups throughout the winter months.

Academic stress is real and starts to hit hard at the end of November and early December. It may feel natural to hunker down in the library studying and working on assignments, but this is the fastest way to burnout. Burnout can cause feelings of cynicism, low energy and lower efficiency when working. One of the easiest ways to prevent this is by actively taking breaks from your school work. Going to club meetings and events provides a great distraction by giving you a fun change of pace from studying! Changing your environment and hanging out with other students in a fun and stress-free zone will help re-energize you when it’s time to go back to studying.

For new students, exam season can be confusing, as it operates very differently from high school finals. When you are in a student group, you have a great opportunity to chat with upper year students who have been in your shoes before! This is a great opportunity to learn some tips and tricks for how to best handle finals and deadlines. The best way to learn is through others, and student groups are encouraged to reflect that in how they operate. By asking questions, even in an informal way, you can help to put your best foot forward during stressful periods at school.

If you are struggling to motivate yourself to study, many clubs on campus host group study sessions. These events are held by many different types of student groups, including faculty associations and Greek organizations. Studying with others can lower the risk of procrastination, since it's easier to hold yourself accountable for the work you have to do when you are with other people. Student group study events can also give you the opportunity to study with others in your faculty/ department or even just others who want to focus. This is an easy way to check things off your to-do list while still being involved with your club!

During the winter season it’s also easy to start feeling more alone and isolated from other students. With the cold weather and limited sunlight, students can start to pull away from social commitments and eventually their academic commitments. The best way to counteract this is by actively participating in your student groups! With many student groups holding events online, you can stay warm and cozy at home and still get that extra dose of socialization. If you are worried about adding a student group to your already busy schedule, there are many groups that have low time commitments and work as a drop-in type of meeting.

While there is no one right way to prepare for finals, keeping up with your participation in student groups can provide many benefits. Beyond everything we’ve shared here, we want you to remember to take a deep breath. Finals are stressful for everyone, but there's nothing you can’t do!

From all of us at Student Group Services, GOOD LUCK!