UCF student Mikayla Duncan relies on coffee and Facebook to get through final-exam time.

“I definitely get coffee, I have to have a coffee break,” said Duncan, a senior majoring in radio and television. “If I’m studying a lot, I take a break and get on Facebook for a second. But if I do that, sometimes I distract myself for hours so I try to get everything done at once.”

Finals started this week and combined with prepping for the holiday season it can be a stressful time. But UCF tries its best to help students get through it with everything from turning the Student Union into a 24-hour Study Union to counseling services, and then there’s always Zumba class at the Recreation and Wellness Center.

Through Dec. 15, the Student Union becomes Study Union and stays open 24 hours. The extended hours provide students with a space to prepare for exams. During this time, the Student Academic Resource Center relocates its services to the Student Union, holding nonstop review sessions before final exams. Each subject session is led by a knowledgeable reviewer in one of the Student Union meeting spaces. A number of sessions will also be live streamed and posted to the SARC YouTube channel for later viewing.

To view the schedule visit SARC at: sarc.sdes.ucf.edu/.

Counseling and Psychological Services runs a series of workshops and programs to help students year round. It also has an after-hour crisis hotline that students can use if they need help. The line is dedicated to helping students experiencing distress and who need someone to talk with whether it is in the middle of the night or on the weekend. Students can call the counseling center’s main number 407-823-2811 and press 5 and they will be connected to a licensed therapist.

And because UCF cares about the entire well-being of its students, UCF Police’s Safe Escort Patrol Service has modified its hours to accommodate late-night studying. Escorts will be available to walk with students from 7 p.m. to 3 a.m. today, 7 p.m. to 1 a.m. Dec.11-12, and 7 p.m. to 3 a.m. Dec. 13-14. Call 407-823-2424 during escort hours.

Many students, especially those who have a few semesters under their belt, come up with their own de-stressing rituals.

For Amanda Vitaglian, a sophomore majoring in biomedical sciences, watching movies or television series is key to keeping her sanity.

Amanda Vitaglian, a sophomore majoring in biomedical sciences, watching movies or television series is key to keeping her sanity

Amanda Vitaglian

“I watch a lot of Netflix and sleep,” Vitaglian said. “I’m binging on the Walking Dead right now. That’s about all I get to do right now because I work two jobs.”

For Jujuan Lyons, television is the last thing he turns to for stress relief.

“I like to play basketball to de-stress,” he said. “I play IM (intramurals), but we just finished, so I go out to the Towers Court and play.”

Jajuan Lyons

Jujuan Lyons

Others take advantage of the last few days of exercises classes such as Zumba and kickboxing.

Many students said the key to surviving finals and all the holiday hype is to mix studying with mini-breaks and a good dose of humor.