Need a study break? Here’s a guide to reading period rest and relaxation at Duke



For most college students, there’s no time as stressful as the final stretch between Thanksgiving and winter breaks. It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the barrage of midterms, final projects and essays as the semester draws to a close. But Duke is full of opportunities to decompress. If you’re in need of a quick study break, here are some ideas to practice self-care and stay afloat during these last weeks on campus. 

Take a walk along the Al Buehler trail or relax in the Gardens

After holing up in Perkins for hours on end, there’s nothing like sunlight and fresh air to feel alive again. With pathways branching off near the entrance to the Washington Duke Hotel and Inn, the Al Buehler trail is just fifteen minutes from the heart of West Campus. Wide, tree-lined paths and serene scenery are hallmarks of this trail, with the Al Buehler loop clocking in at just under three miles. And closer to campus, the 55 acres of the Sarah P. Duke Gardens are perfect for a picnic with friends, a photoshoot or simply a relaxing walk in nature.  

Decompress at the Oasis

Located on the first floor of the Student Wellness Center, the Oasis is one of Duke’s best-kept secrets. Step inside and find massage chairs, an aromatherapy station, adult coloring books, board games and meditation balls, all designed to cultivate relaxation. Just outside, the Zen gardens offer an ideal outdoor space to take a breather. 

Paint along with Bob Ross

“The Joy of Painting” host Bob Ross famously said, “We don’t make mistakes, just happy little accidents.” It’s a statement that applies to academics as much as artwork. For those who want to celebrate the legacy of this iconic painter or just relax and sip a hot drink, there’s a perfect event coming up this Friday. 

From 7-9 p.m., the Arts Annex is hosting a Bob Ross paint-along. Hot cocoa, supplies and snacks will be provided. Register on DukeGroups as space is limited and see where your creativity takes you. 

Fulfill your late night munchies with midnight breakfast

This beloved pre-finals feast will be on Dec. 9 from 11 p.m. to 1 a.m. at the Brodhead Center and Dec. 10 from 11 p.m. to 1 a.m. at Marketplace. The Brodhead Center breakfast is sponsored by Quad Council and Sophomore Class Council, but all students are welcome. The theme is Las Vegas and they plan to give out free themed shirts. The Marketplace breakfast theme is Casino Royale and they plan to have games and prizes. 

Get a workout in with Duke’s group fitness classes

When finals season stress feels unbearable, sometimes you just need to kickstart your endorphins with some good old-fashioned exercise. At both Brodie and Wilson Recreation Centers, Duke Recreation hosts a variety of group fitness classes seven days a week. Whether your passions are more in line with Bollywood Zumba or Muscle Pump, there’s something for everyone. Sign up for classes on the MyRec portal — and don’t forget to grab a smoothie from Red Mango to refuel afterwards.

Cheer on the Blue Devils

Screaming your heart out in Cameron does wonders for alleviating final exam stress. On Dec. 8 at 7:00 p.m., the women’s basketball team will take on Austin Peay. Two days later, the men’s team will face Maryland Eastern Shore at 5:30 p.m. Show up, be loud and have fun!

Sevana Wenn profile
Sevana Wenn | Features Managing Editor

Sevana Wenn is a Trinity sophomore and features managing editor of The Chronicle's 118th volume.


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