Managing Stress During the School Year
College students everywhere are starting to feel the weight of midterm season. The last minute assignments, back to back papers and tests, important presentations – all on top of other commitments like clubs, organizations, and some sort of social life. However, this time feels different. Classrooms are now full of people (with masks) again, and campus is as lively as ever. It’s exciting to see, but most students are still getting back into the swing of things after being on Zoom for almost four semesters; which is only adding to the arduous navigation of midterms. I don’t know about you, but I am exhausted. Physically and mentally, my battery is running low. Trying to push through and getting it all done can only make things worse sometimes. Here are some tips on how to manage your stress during this crazy, jam-packed time in the middle of the semester.
This is something I’ve been working on as of late. Being organized is the key to staying on top of your school work. I’ve found that writing out my commitments and what is due in the next day, week, or month on paper has helped me see the bigger picture. It helps in planning your week around the countless assignments, papers, and presentations, so that you’re able to see what spare time you have for more enjoyable activities. In addition to this, clutter is a huge stressor. Carve out time for yourself to clean up your workspace, and make it a more relaxing place to be. Keep your desk clean, light a candle or two, and find a comfy chair with a pillow. Guaranteed, these two organizational tactics will help your stress during midterms and increase productivity.
Sitting in a chair hunched over your computer all day is less than ideal; so move your body! Exercise is one of the healthiest outlets for stress. It allows you to take a step away from your work, which will make you more effective and clear your mind. There is definitely some science behind this too, but I won’t bore you with the specifics. Some people have their daily gym run down to a science; but realistically, not everyone has a set workout time and routine for themselves everyday. Some other ways you can get your body moving are yoga, walking to and from campus or around your neighborhood, walking or running on the treadmill, or even simply stretching for ten to twenty minutes. These activities are all very accessible for college students, all we have to do is make the time to live a healthier lifestyle for both our mental and physical body.
This skill is tough to master, but is definitely worth the effort. Managing your time is essential in living a balanced lifestyle; where both work and play are valid. An easy way to manage your time with schoolwork is doing it incrementally throughout the week, and only during the daylight. Once nighttime hits, you are free to do whatever you need to blow off steam. Whether that’s vegging out in front of the TV, hanging out with friends, cooking yourself a nice meal, or playing a card game. This is something that has been working well for me, but every person is different. Time management will help you to set aside a few hours and wind down, without thinking about schoolwork.
Sleep is good for the soul.
Something that is often overlooked in times of stress is sleeping; even though it is essential to us as human beings! We all need sleep in order to function properly and to the best of our ability, otherwise everything crashes down quickly. Give yourself the permission to get a good amount of sleep per night, and try not to stay on Tik Tok for too long (I know, this is tempting).
Everyone is different, and everyone’s bodies need different things to thrive. All of these tools often get put on the back burner when we’re stressed, but it’s important to learn what boundaries you need to make in order to be happy and healthy. The brightside is, midterm season only lasts about a week or two; then we’re back to our regularly scheduled programming. You’ve survived it before, and you will once again. You got this!
This blog was written by Olivia Mianulli, Conference Coordinator.