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Finals Resources

Three Resources for Prioritizing Wellness During Finals Week

It’s a big relief, just knowing that support is there.”

Laura Sevilla
CAPS Staff Therapist & Coordinator of Community-Based Intervention

For a guide to Northwestern’s key wellness resources, visit the NUhelp website. 

Finals have arrived at Northwestern, and every student manages this week differently. 

To help students make healthy choices during an intense period like finals week, we encourage students to find time for light distractions from their studies and participate in programming around campus that encourages wellness.  This story will discuss three resources provided by NU for students to access to boost their mental health in the final stretch before spring break. 

Same-day mental health support from CAPS 

The easiest way to get started with Counseling & Psychological Services (CAPS) is through same-day access, a drop-in service that gives students on the Evanston campus the option to meet with an on-call counselor in person or on Zoom. 

 The quick turnaround time sets SDA apart from a traditional appointment, according to Laura Sevilla, staff therapist & coordinator of community-based intervention at CAPS.  

“You can call the CAPS front desk, or you can come into our office, and you're going to be able to connect with someone that same day,” Sevilla said. “So, it’s a big relief, just knowing that support is there.”  

 SDA can be used for any mental health concern, big or small, and it can also be used to learn how to help friends going through hard times, according to Sevilla.  

 “The intention is 'come on in, let's get you connected to the support that makes the most sense for you,’” Sevilla said.  

 To get started, students can call 847.491.2151 or visit the CAPS office on the second floor of Searle Hall at 633 Emerson Street. SDA functions on a first-come, first-served basis and cannot be scheduled in advance. It is recommended to set aside at least an hour and a half to fill out paperwork and to meet with a counselor. The service is available Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.  

For support outside of business hours, students can call 847.491.-2151, and press “0” after the prompt. TimelyCare’s 24/7 TalkNow service also allows students to speak with a counselor at any time.  

 White light therapy at the Wellness Suite 

 Located in the Wellness Suite at Henry Crown Sports Pavilion (SPAC), white light therapy is a safe and effective way to treat seasonal affective disorder and other forms of depression, and boost your energy during darker times of year.  

“I always like to compare it to if we have a stretch of cloudy, foggy days, and then we have a blue sky and sunny day,” said Nancy Tierney, associate director of fitness and wellness at Northwestern Recreation. “The sun does so much for us that we don’t realize.” 

 When students arrive, they check in at the reception desk, sign a waiver, and are brought back to the white light therapy area. They have their choice of seating, then sit in front of the white light box for 15 minutes to start, increasing the time they stay each session.  


 “People can be on their phone, on their computer, they could be reading a book, or talking to a friend, and they can receive benefits from the white light,” Tierney said.  

 White light therapy is most effective when performed regularly and early in the morning.   

 The treatment is available to students free of charge, with no limit on the number of sessions they can access.  

 “I think the repeat customers, especially the students that are coming in regularly, just speaks for itself,” Tierney said. “I can tell it's working, and they're feeling the benefits.” 

 Students can make an appointment by calling 847.467.2607 or stop by the Wellness Suite on the first floor of SPAC (2311 Campus Drive)  any time from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday, and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.  

 Stay active with NU Recreation 

 NU Recreation provides countless opportunities to stay active – something crucial to both physical and mental wellness all year round.  

 Cardio, strength training, yoga, Pilates, aqua fitness and cycling classes are offered daily at Henry Crown through the end of reading week, providing an easy and efficient way to stay active. For more information on group exercise, see the Winter Quarter schedule 

 With the weather getting warmer, going outside for some movement can also give wellness a boost. For assistance planning your next walk or run, check out NU Recreation’s walking routes, with 1-mile to 5-mile options through campus and Evanston.  

 For a guide to Northwestern’s key wellness resources, visit the NUhelp website.