The Final Lap 2020


Successfully cross the end-of-semester finish line! Open to all GW students, the Final Lap is designed to provide stress reduction opportunities both prior to and during final exams. Check out our full list of events and resources!

Upcoming Events


GW Resources


Doodle & De-Stress

December 7 | 7:00 PM EST | Webex

The creative arts can be a great tool for dealing with mental and emotional stress, which is especially crucial at this time of the year. Join student interns from the GW Art Therapy Clinic who will lead us in a creative, stress break art activity that will be energizing, engaging, and fun. No artistic talent is required. Bring your favorite basic art supplies (paper, markers, colored pencils, etc.) and tune in!

RSVP on Engage

Midnight Breakfast

December 7-11 | Virtual and In-Person

Midnight Breakfast is an annual fall semester tradition that invites students to take a break from studying for final exams to enjoy some food and fun!

View the Event Line-up

Virtual Group Fitness Classes

December 7-18 | Zoom

Classes are free and open to all GW students, faculty, and staff! If you have any questions, email [email protected].

View the Schedule

Mental Health Discussion Series: Honoring Growth

December 9 | 4:00 PM EST | Webex

Mental Health Discussion Series is a weekly, hour-long discussion designed for students to collectively meet with a counselor and discuss various topics Whether you struggle with your own well-being or are a concerned GW community member, you are welcome to drop into this free virtual group discussion - no registration required!

Join with Password: CAPS

Sisters in the Academy: Come as You Are

December 9 | 7:00 PM EST | Webex

“Come As You Are” is a space designed for GW Black and Brown women to provide community support, reflection, and direction. Virtual sessions will take place once a month with a series of topics including: identity exploration, intersectionality, societal expectations, and more.

Join via Webex

Breakfast Break

December 14 | 10:00 AM | Foggy Bottom

Stop by for free breakfast items as you head into exam week! While supplies last. Pick-up locations include:

Shenkman Hall Lobby

South Hall Lobby

District House (H Street entrance, near Starbucks)

Doodle & De-Stress

December 14 | 7:00 PM EST | Hybrid

The creative arts can be a great tool for dealing with mental and emotional stress, which is especially crucial at this time of the year. Join student interns from the GW Art Therapy Clinic who will lead us in a creative, stress break art activity that will be energizing, engaging, and fun. No artistic talent is required. If you are on campus, you can reserve an art supply kit and receive some interesting art media to work with. You’ll be able to keep your artwork to remind you of the experience!

RSVP on Engage by 12/13

[canceled] DC Behind the Scenes: Virtual Tour of Fords Theatre

December 16 | 5:00 PM | DC

Take a virtual tour of the Fords Theatre and see locations that most of the public doesn't get to go. See the Presidents Box from Lincoln's perspective as well as the backstage areas that only the Fords company usually get to see. 

RSVP on Engage

Counseling Consultations

Preparing for finals can challenging. Students can access Counseling and Psychological Services at the Colonial Health Center 24/7 by calling 202-994-5300. CAPS clinicians will provide emotional support for students.

Counseling & Psychological Services


Raise Up GW Emotional Well-being Resources

Emotional Well-being is the ability to navigate life’s stressors in emotionally adaptive ways through increased cognitive flexibility, a sense of agency, and emotional regulation.

Check out Emotional Well-being Resources

Consider these 5 tips for healthy sleep hygiene.

1. Stick to a consistent sleeping schedule.

  • It is recommended to wake up and go to bed around the same times each day, even on weekends.
  • If you need to refresh, take a nap before 3PM for 30 minutes or less.
  • COVID Consideration:  Establishing a routine can facilitate a sense of normalcy. It’s easier for your mind and body to acclimate to a consistent sleep schedule, including consistent times for waking up, winding down, and turning off the lights.

2. Avoid caffeine later in the day.

  • Maintain a routine that has a work-life balance.  Include even just a few minutes each day of an activity that brings you joy and contentment.

3. Turn off electronics at least 30 minutes before bed.

  • Blue light from your phone or computer screen can delay the release of melatonin, a sleep-inducing hormone. This can make it harder to fall asleep.
  • Try using the 30 minutes before bed practice a bedtime ritual (ex. taking a hot shower, reading a book, progressive muscle relaxation).

4. Evaluate your bedroom environment.

  • Ensure that your room is dark, free from distractions, and a comfortable temperature.
  • Reserve your bed for sleep only. Doing homework or studying in bed can make your body associate your bed with working and make it harder to fall asleep at night.

5. Reflect on your sleep quality.

  • Ask yourself:
    • Do I wake up rested? If not, why might this be?
    • What changes can I make to improve my sleep?
  • Sleep issues can be associated with a variety of factors, from medical conditions to mental health concerns. If you need additional support with your sleep habits, consider speaking with a professional in the CHC.

#RaiseUpGW Resources

  • Learn more about how sleep is related to your well-being and find other resources from the Sleep Foundation.
  • Call the CHC at 202-994-5300 to speak to a staff about sleep concerns you might have.
  • Learn more about Raise Up GW and how you can engage in holistic well-being practices as a GW student.


Download the 5 Tips for Sleep Handout

Consider these 5 tips to manage stress as a student.

  1. Stay connected with your social supports.
    • Carve out some time in your routine to talk to a friend, family member, faith leader, or other trusted member of your social circle.
  2. Establish a routine and stick with it.
    • Maintain a routine that has a work-life balance.  Include even just a few minutes each day of an activity that brings you joy and contentment.
  3. Take time to self-reflect and engage in rest.
    • Allow yourself the space to process emotions in a way that works for you. (ex. Journaling, talking to a friend, artistic expression)
    • Consider the value that you place on rest and sleep hygiene practices. Give yourself permission to engage in practices that rejuvenate your mind and body.
    • When facing a setback, consider: What challenges or changes to plans have I faced in the past? What strengths, mindsets, supports, and strategies helped me through those previous times that I can draw on today?
  4. Check out the Self-Help Resource Library.
    • These resources can help you acquire the skills, attitudes, and knowledge to resolve personal difficulties and day-to-day challenges.
    • COVID Consideration: CAPS has compiled a list of recommended self-help resources during COVID-19, ranging from podcasts and apps to free and low-cost virtual support.
  5. If you find yourself needing additional support, consider reaching out a GW resource.
    • Attend one of CAPS’ Mental Health Discussion Series sessions. No registration required!
    • Call 202-994-5300 to make an appointment with CAPS.
    • If you are concerned about yourself or a friend, submit a CARE Referral to be connected to an appropriate resource on campus.

#RaiseUpGW Resources


Download the 5 Tips for Stress Management Handout

Consider these 5 tips to incorporate physical activity into your routine.

1. Find something you love to do.

  • Doing physical activity that makes you feel energized, happy and confident will make you more likely to do it regularly.
  • Movement isn't just one thing! It can be walking, running, biking, stretching, dancing, whatever works for you and your body.

2. Visit Lerner Health and Wellness Center.

  • Lerner, or “HelWell,” is located at 2301 G St NW.
  • It has a variety of equipment, physical activity spaces, a jogging track, a pool, group fitness classes, and more. Experiment with all they have to offer and find a physical activity routine that works best for you!
  • COVID Consideration: During the social distancing period, Lerner will still be offering a variety of virtual programming. Follow @gwcampusrec on Instagram for wellness tips, at-home workouts, fitness resources, virtual activities, and more!

3. Set S.M.A.R.T. goals.

  • Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time-bound
  • Remember to also listen to your body and its needs.

4. Remember, exercise is just one way to be physically active!

  • Enjoy some friendly competition through Intramural and Club Sports.
  • Explore the great outdoors on a weekend or extended break trip through the TRAILS program.
  • Take a Lifestyle, Sport, and Physical Activity (LSPA) course, which has topics ranging from hiking to fencing to self-defense!

5. Find little ways to incorporate physical activity into your day.

  • Take the stairs instead of the elevator.
  • If you take the metro, consider getting off the train one stop early and walking the rest of the way.
  • Take a walk to the monuments with friends, for an #OnlyAtGW experience!

#RaiseUpGW Resources

Learn more about Lerner Health and Wellness Center.

Learn more about Intramural and Club Sports.

Learn more about the TRAILS program.


Download the 5 Tips for Physical Activity Handout

Thank You to Our Campus Partners!

We would like to extend our gratitude to the following offices for making Final Lap possible: 

  • Campus Recreation
  • Capital Peers
  • Counseling & Psychological
  • District Connections
  • Division of Safety & Security
  • GW Art Therapy
  • Office of Student Life