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Girl Holding Her Knees
Breanna Coon / Her Campus
Mental Health

7 Stages of a Midterms Mental Breakdown:

1. Procrastination

It’s all fun and games when it’s sylly week, and you’re having a grand old time rolling out of Mags and not paying attention. It gets even better when the social freeze is over, and you find you have to constantly remind yourself that you will on academics as soon as the ~frat~ social scene calms down. And that takes us to right now, mid-term season. You had this whole plan about how you were going to stay on top of your s*** this semester, but clearly that went out the window at some point. 

2. Dread 

Why do professors think it’s fun to schedule literally everything important in your life on one day? Will we ever know? One Sunday you open Canvas and a massive pit forms in your stomach. You have 2 papers and three exams the next week in classes that you haven’t paid any attention to. You have so much work to do, and it’s going to suck. So what do you do instead of beginning the work? Go out for brunch, obviously!

3. Bargaining 

Okay, if you just do work all day and only sleep for four hours for the next four days you’re going to be totally fine, right? You can totally get everything done. You spend a lot of time that you don’t have formulating a game plan for how you’re going to space out all your work. But right now its crucial that you take a nap – only so you’re appropriately rested to put this plan into action.

4. Acceptance 

You finally decide to start working! You know this isn’t going to be pleasant but you go to wherever you work best and layout all your stuff. Check social media one last time. Take a deep breath–you’re ready. It’s grind time, baby. 

5. Horror/Shame

Once you get organized you realize just how much you have to do and how little time you have to do it. This is basically an amplified version of the Sunday Scaries. Can you actually get everything done? It’s going to be a squeeze. How did you end up in this situation? Last time it happened you vowed it would never happen again. You are overcome with self-loathing and frustration with yourself that you put yourself in this situation once again. What is wrong with you? You’re at college to learn. Nothing else. Books > Boys (or girls) from now on. 

6.Crying in the club (libs)

You are overwhelmed with the existential weight of everything in your life, lack of sleep, and the amount you have to do. Don’t worry! Just plan your breakdown for a time convenient to you and ideally in a place where you’re alone. Sometimes you have to get over the mental breakdown hump to really get the work done. Take some deep breaths and watch a clip of The Office. This is not the end of the world. 

7. Work 

Finally, you wipe your face and just focus. Strategize. What assignment is most pressing? Which one counts for the largest percentage of your grade? Maybe you disappear for a few days and your friends think you might have been kidnapped. Maybe your parents are concerned they haven’t heard from you for an extended period of time. But you’re just grinding! Turn off your phone and get it done sis. 

Jessi Lieb

Emory '22

Jessi Lieb is a Sophomore at Emory studying Psychology and English. She'll think of a better bio as soon as she can.
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