Freedom!!!! That is all my mind can focus on this week. I have finally finished my hell week of the semester. Four midterms all encompassed into the span of a singular academic week. Who knew it was possible to experience academic stress worse than that of finals week? But it’s over. I can breathe. I can treat myself for the rest of the semester because I am finally free of that doom. So, if you are like me, here are eight things to do when you finally have the time and freedom you lacked during midterms.
If you are anything like me, you need your eight hours of sleep a night. Yes, all eight. I prefer more, setting a bedtime of 11 and an alarm for 8. But during midterms, this went out the window. I stayed up until 1 and woke up by 7, trying to get every minute of studying in that I could. While I thought I was gonna go party the night away Friday, I opted for a different plan. I went to bed at 11. It was glorious. I stayed in bed until 10 the next morning. I did not feel the need to grab a coffee in the morning. Do yourself a favor, skip the overrated plans, and just catch up on some much-needed z’s.
Get Food Off-Campus
It’s that time of year when we are all getting sick of the dining hall food. There’s only so many times one can eat chicken and rice, Addie’s flatbreads, or a steak and cheese without a hint of deja vu. All during finals week, I had been craving Sweet Green, the godsend of salads. So, after a canceled discussion and a relatively low maintenance Monday, I took myself to the trendy food option and began writing this article. I’m loving it! Fresh food that’s giving me a break from meatball obsession and the wilted salad bar. I love it so much, I may do the same for dinner. Treat yourself, even if it’s just El Pelon, you finally have the time to travel farther than the dining hall.
I am not an avid TV watcher. I don’t really have the time even without midterms, but the idea of a mindless activity for which I could just sit and breath thoroughly intrigued me. So I sat down and watched the first episode of Stranger Things. It was good, but the hour to veg was even better. So go catch up on your favorite show or start a new one, you deserve it!
I know, we’re all broke college kids who just don’t have the funds for an all-out spa day. But a steamy shower, a two dollar face mask, and a fresh coat of polish can come pretty close. My skin needed refreshing, my mind needed refreshing, and I needed to feel pampered after a week of nonstop work. Take care of yourself. That’s what you need after your hell week.
Go to the Gym
Many see the gym as work. I see it as a stress reliever. Sprinting and lifting my worries away is pretty much all I use the gym for, but it is always when you have the most stress and worry that you don’t have the time to actually go to the gym. The gym is also the best time to catch up on listening to your favorite music, another great stress reliever. So, as soon as you finish that last midterm, plug in your headphones and hit the gym. It will keep that hard work alive and well in your routine while letting your mind free itself from the pain it’s been in.
As a psychology research assistant, club treasurer, showdown choreographer, and full-time student, I always have a lot of things I have to get done. Combine that with the fact that I am a horrible procrastinator (pulling an all-nighter for a 3rd grade project once) and you’ll realize I probably am not the greatest at balancing my workload. After the horrible turmoil that these characteristics provided me last semester, I have completely changed my ways. I have to start my work early to avoid the stress and panic I used to induce on myself. I always have my to-do list ready to go, and coming off a week of work work work has provided me the atmosphere to keep up the work with less of the short-term pressure. Starting your work early means you don’t have to rush it and can handle it in short bursts as opposed to all at once. Embrace continuing the hard work, you’ll appreciate it in the end!
Similar to the gym, dance releases any remaining tension from midterm season. I was a competitive Irish dancer for years before college, and now I spend most of my time swing dancing. I go to parties purely to bust a move and can often be found rhythmically walking across the quad with my headphones in. To say I enjoy dancing is an understatement. So following my midterms, I headed over to Brighton Dance Studio, plugged my Spotify into the speaker and just danced. Not well, not graciously, but it was dancing. And it made me happy. Maybe dancing isn’t the stress relief you need, but there is that one thing you absolutely love. Go do it, for the sake of your sanity.
See Your Friends
Even without midterms, I am a hermit. My roommates could give me crap about it for weeks on end. But the disappearing act I made during midterms was a shock even to them. One actually double checking that it was really me the Saturday after my hell week. So you’ve finished locking yourself in the library until midnight. You have time after classes again! Arrange a lunch date with the friends you haven’t talked to in a while. Ask your roommate how she genuinely is. Chances are they have some juicy updates for you!