SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) — Briar Cliff University and Morningside University are both in their final week of the semester and students are beginning to cram all the information they can to succeed on their exams.

A nationwide survey conducted this past spring showed that 85% of college students admitted to feeling increased stress and anxiety during the pandemic. However, just 21% of those surveyed sought licensed counseling or a professional’s help.

At schools like Briar Cliff University, there are plenty of resources that students can readily access, including their Academic Peer Mentor (APM) program. Samantha Zeleny is a senior who participates as an APM to help younger students. She said it is a lot easier to make a positive impact on struggling students in person this year rather than last year’s virtual methods.

“I know when everyone was home for COVID, it was more through e-mail and Zoom which was really hard because just capabilities of being able to see what they need done and help with versus what I can sit down and actually see if I was in-person with them,” said Zeleny.

Briar Cliff also offers counseling services where director Teri Copple can offer helpful studying tips.

“For students studying, I say 20 minutes on, at least 5 minutes off because we retain the most information the first 15 to 20 minutes studying. So set the timer on your phone, study for 20 minutes, get up and take a 5 minute walk,” said Copple.

Students even have the option of taking their study break in a massage chair or by coloring to relax their brain. Copple said when it comes to this time of year, students, especially freshmen, can become anxious not just over the rigorous schedule of college courses, but exterior factors at home.

“It’s a totally different setting. The materials are different, it’s just not the same as high school so just take a step back. Just be there for support of your student but don’t put any added pressure on either,” said Copple.