Colleges are attempting to do more to help, though, with stress-reducing activities such as massage therapy and yoga to soothe psyches.

Colleges offer massages, snacks and more to help stressed-out freshmen prepare for their first finals

Just before winter break, Kristina Reed began to feel a bit off. She developed a sore throat and cough. The Pomona College freshman was fatigued and lethargic. She had all the signs of flu.

Then she realized it was no coincidence that she was about to take her first college finals.

“My stress levels were pretty high and I think it was related,” said Reed, 18, a neuroscience major. “It’s a big jump up from high school, where they expect you to memorize information and repeat it back. In college it’s a lot more analysis, they demand more from you and especially the level of writing is a lot higher.”

As final exams reach their peak this week across the country, freshmen like Reed are coping with the anxiety and sleepless nights before their first college-level end of term tests. Getting through finals can be grueling for even the most experienced upper-division student. With exams counting for a large portion of the final grade, doing well is a high-stakes proposition.