Know your options: How to cope with finals stress

    The library's "Food for Thought" will be beginning for students on Monday of next week, and ends Thursday. Photo by Kasra Orumchian

    The library’s “Food for Thought” will be beginning for students on Monday of next week, and ends Thursday.
    Photo by Kasra Orumchian

     Beginning next Wednesday, Palo Alto High School administrators will implement both old and new programs aimed towards alleviating student stress and helping students through final exams next week.

    Food For Thought

    Food For thought is a study hall open to all Paly Students , and is a returning program from prior years.

    According to librarian Debby Henry, the program offers extended study hours for all students and will be in the Media Arts Center and the library from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.

    “The locations will be in the library and in the MAC,” Henry said.

    Henry said students will also have access to all of the library’s normal resources, and teacher volunteers will be present to help students in need. The volunteers will provide snacks and dinner to all who attend.

    “There will be teachers and special ed [Education] aids in both areas [the MAC and the library] to help with tutoring or projects or whatever students require at that time,” Henry said. “Food will be served in the student center, and there will be a variety [of choices] each night.”

    According to junior Avery Wooten, who has attended Food For Thought in previous years, the program is both enjoyable and helpful.

    “I liked studying in the library because I could study with friends and there was dinner afterwards,” Wooten said. “I had all of the textbooks I needed, so I could get all of my work done.”

    For those looking for a quiet space to study either with friends or independently, Food for Thought will provide a productive environment free from distractions where students can focus, enjoy dinner and complete their studying.

    Wellness Center

    In its opening year, the Palo Alto High School Wellness Center is aiding the stress relief effort, by providing students with board games, snacks, tea, DIY bath salts, arts and crafts, music and therapy dogs. 

    Wellness Center Outreach Coordinator Julia Chang is looking forwards to allowing students to relax and escape the stress that comes with final exams.

    “I think blocking off that flex time on Tuesday is super useful because that gives students some time for themselves, and some time to come together and take care of their bodies and minds, as opposed to stressing over finals continuously,” Chang said. “I hope students take advantage of the time and understand that self care is important when stress levels are high.”

    PTA Snacks

    Each day of finals, volunteers from the Parent Teacher Student Association will continue the tradition of handing out snacks to students at brunch and lunch.

    According to Tina Semba, a Paly parent and a long term volunteer, there will be a wide variety of  snacks available.

    “Parents sign up to bring sweet treats and healthy snacks like fruit,” Semba said. “Tables will be located by the library and the student center.”

    Semba has been volunteering and handing out finals snacks for seven years.

    “I love volunteering for bringing treats to students, especially during finals because it can be a stressful time and handing out treats is an easy and fun way to show our support and wish them good luck,” Semba said.

    The list of parent volunteers is posted on the quad, by the library, the 800’s building and numerous other locations around campus.

    Whether you’re looking for a place to group study, eat snacks, or find inner peace this finals week, the Paly administration will provide a place for you.