How Do Andover Students Destress?

As Finals Week approaches, students reflect on destressing during Ultimate Week to take care of their mental health and physical wellness. 

Roger Lu ’23:

“I really enjoy going to [Paresky] Commons and talking for an hour or two with some friends. That’s honestly a perfect way to spend a weekend… Usually we start out with how our weekends are going or how our weeks are going and then we dive into specifics or someone brings up an anecdote about what happened in their hometown or something. One of my friends, Saumik [Sharma ’25], sometimes goes on really long tangents about how there’s this earthquake in Nepal or how he almost got into a car crash. There are a lot of good stories, if you know where to find them.” 

Allison Fish ’23:

“If it’s a weekend, [destressing for me is] usually sitting around and watching a show or reading. Sometimes between doing homework assignments, I might get up, walk downstairs, fill up a glass of water or eat a short snack… I remember Freshman Year, I actually used to destress a lot by doing little projects, like I made a pair of skeleton gloves or stuffed animals. Now I don’t really have as much time to do that, so I would just pick up a book. I’ve found smaller things, like Gaming Club has been a constant, and it’s really nice to relax, spend time with friends, and forget about everything else for a few hours.

Tulah Jefferson ’24:

“I usually like to put my headphones in and go for a walk for however long, and that can be on or off campus, but I walk until I feel better. [What I listen to] really depends on my mood, but I usually listen to my favorite albums at the time, but I like to listen to jazz a lot because it’s super calming… I like [my method of destressing], but I often do it as a last resort. My life doesn’t have to be falling apart or crumbling, but when I’m really stressed out, I do that, so I want to try to stop that behavior before it gets to that point, and take more time to do self care.”

Ellie Sun ’25:

“If it’s short term destressing, like if I have a test sixth period or something, I usually just breathe. I know that a lot of people usually disregard that, but if I take one breath that lasts for more than three seconds, then I’m calm after that and I usually let my heart settle. If my heart settles, then I’m less intimidated by the next thing I have to do… Something else that’s helpful for me is taking time for myself at the end of the day to write things down on what happened every day. If I’ve had a really long day and I write a couple of sentences about it, then it lets me put the day behind me and be able to move on to the next day.” 

Skyler Siegfried ’25:

“Usually during Finals Week or any stressful period of my life, I tend to go inward and focus on the things I really like to do. Definitely practicing my instruments, doing music, and singing have been great sources of destressing for me… I think [it’s also important to] lean on the people that you know. I feel like we tend to not realize that people are really there for us in times of need. Just lean on your friends and trust that they’re there for you… Although it’s really difficult to maintain a healthy balance between your mental health and work, I think it’s important to really remember that your mental health is more important.”

Devika Hajarnavis ’26: 

“To destress I will play sports, call my family, watch funny videos, watch a show or movie, or hang out with friends… At Andover, obviously now I don’t have my dog with me, but back home I would always play with my dog, and he would always calm me down… I think [the school] could also give students more breaks. I’m not saying give us days off, that too, but during class times. For example protected times, you don’t need that big of a chunk, but small chunks throughout the day or week.”