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10 Ways to De-Stress During Prelim Season

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Cornell chapter.

1. Take a walk

Cornell has so much beautiful scenery to offer, it’s a guarantee you’ll never be bored on a nice walk around campus. Take a brief stroll around Beebe Lake, or explore some of the buildingss you’ve never been in. It’s a great way to change your perspective and relax.


2. Meditate

Meditation is something you can do quickly and easily, especially if it’s snowy and freezing outside and you don’t want to leave your room. There are so many varieties of mediation that you’ll surely be able to find something that suits you, and you can meditate for any amount of time, making it just as suited for a quick five minute break as for an hour long break.


3. Listen to music

Sometimes putting on a pair of headphones and turning your favorite songs up to maximum volume is just what you need to let loose. Enjoying music allows you to turn off the stress of studying and might give you the motivation you need to get through your prelims.


4. Go shopping

It’s easy enough to get off campus with the TCAT buses, so take a break from studying and visit your favorite store. A trip to Target is the perfect solution to your prelim blues!


5. Take care of yourself

It’s always important to take some time for yourself, whether that means taking a warm shower, painting your nails or trying a new face mask. Making your well-being a priority will give you a confidence boost which is just what you need to ace those prelims!


6. Be creative

If you’re an artist, give yourself time to draw or paint. If you like singing, take some time to belt out your favorite tunes. The practice rooms in Lincoln Hall’s basement are a great place to play your instrument. Whatever your specialty, take a break to hone your artistic talent.


7. Exercise

An hour on the elliptical can really clear your head. Exercising allows you to get out all the built-up tension from hours of studying, and there are lots of different places on campus to work out, from the pools to the ice skating rink.


8. Watch a lighthearted TV show

Everyone always talks about comfort food, but who’s to say you can’t have a comfort TV show? Sitting down and watching your favorite characters’ crazy antics can transport you to a different world and let your brain forget about academics for 20 minutes.


9. Cook

Whether you’re a culinary genius or a beginner, try making a treat for yourself in the kitchen. It will refocus your mind, plus you’ll have some delicious food to snack on when you resume studying.


10. Play a game

Any kind of game will give you a chance to kick back and have some fun. You can try a board game with your friends, your favorite video game or get sucked into the world of The Sims. Games will keep your mind thinking, but challenge you in a different way than your prelims and maybe give you that social interaction you’ve been craving.


Prelim season doesn’t have to be an insanely stressful time. Just remember to take some breaks and do what you enjoy!

Asian Studies major who enjoys horseback riding, crochet, singing, and musical theater. Passionate about public service and addressing economic inequality and women's, LGBTQ+ and minority rights.
Elizabeth Li

Cornell '19

Junior at Cornell University and President/Campus Correspondent of Her Campus Cornell