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Mental Health

Stress Management 101: Midterms Edition

Let’s face it, ladies. The time has finally come—the time of year when the library seems full every hour of the day. I mean seriously, every study room is occupied. Students are walking around looking like zombies and your coffee intake has increased to an unhealthy amount. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, midterm season is upon us. Instead of living in denial, we must face reality. A week full of tests, assignments, and looming due dates contributes to an unhealthy amount of stress. I’m not going to sugar coat it for anyone – midterms are stressful, but it does not have to be. The most important thing to remember is that midterms will not be the end of us. To any freshmen that are experiencing midterms for the first time while in undergrad, yes, it can be daunting. However, if you apply some of my techniques, you will learn how to master midterm week and get that 4.0. 


Tip #1: Journaling is one of my preferred outlets for stress relief. Seriously. I find myself having so many thoughts about what I need to get done in my head and it can get overwhelming. That’s why journaling has become my favorite activity. I can write my to-do lists, affirmations, and goals. It can also be a more comfortable outlet for emotions that you are reluctant to share with others. 


Tip #2: Meditation is so beneficial. I am no expert, but you don’t have to be one to enjoy the benefits. You can take 5 minutes out of your day to recenter yourself and bring yourself back to focus. Meditation is known to help lower stress and decrease anxiety levels. There are great apps out there to use and with a little research, you’ll find the perfect one for you. Headspace is one of my favorite meditation apps. Trust me and you won’t be disappointed. 


Tip #3: Talk to your support system. Sometimes the best solution is to talk about what’s troubling you out loud. It is not healthy to suppress your emotions and keep all of your thoughts to yourself. Dedicate time in your daily routine to call a friend or a family member that you trust and just vent. Venting to your loved ones about what is stressing you out feels rejuvenating. Once you hang up the phone, you’ll definitely feel lighter. Talking to my friends from back home or calling my mom is something that I always look forward to after my classes are over.


Tip #4: Aromatherapy. Listen when I tell you that aromatherapy is my definition of self-care. There are several scents to help improve different areas of your life. To improve sleep, some pleasant scents to use are lavender and vanilla. For those who deal with test anxiety, great scents to utilize are lemon, chamomile, and orange. Aromatherapy and playing your favorite music playing in the background is the best way to unwind after a long day. 


Tip #5: Apply time management skills. I cannot stress this enough. Time management equals success. I’m less likely to procrastinate if I prioritize what has to get done. Set deadlines for yourself. Start early, and don’t wait until the last minute to start your assignments. Also, avoid multitasking. Try to focus on one thing at a time so you don’t get overwhelmed. 


Tip #6: Take a social media break. Staying off of social media may seem daunting, but it is possible. Just think about all of the time you spend scrolling on your phone. You can use that time for studying or finishing assignments. You’ll feel so much more productive during your break. You know it’s true.  


Remember to breathe and pace yourself. Take care of your mental health. As long as you give it your best, that’s all that matters. Midterms are stressful for everyone, so know that you aren’t going through it alone. Before you know it, the week will be over, and we will be on spring break. Just remember that you got this! 


Selena Roberts

Hampton U '21

Selena Roberts is a senior Strategic Communications major with an area of emphasis in Political Science minor from Spring Valley, NY. She is a part of the Freddye T. Davy Honors College, Student Government Association. Her Campus, Young Adults Advocating Change, and the Student Recruitment Team. Selena loves the performing arts and is a fan of romantic comedies. She loves to rewatch episodes of Insecure and listen to Jazmine Sullivan, SZA, and Brandy. She hopes to combine her love of media, traveling, and politics together after graduating from Hampton University.
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