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How To Cope With Stress During Midterm Season

The crisp, fresh fall season is always something I look forward to when I get back on campus. Hearing the crunch of leaves and feeling the brisk breeze on my skin gets me excited for the months to come. Even though this time of year is filled with fun activities, warm apple cider, and pumpkins, midterms are always a huge stressor for college students. Too much stress can negatively impact how you perform on your exams, so it’s really important to effectively balance your time and make sure to include self care. Here are some of my favorite ways to cope with stress during the midterm season!

1. Study and Plan Ahead of Time

It’s very easy to put off your work and wait until the week of your midterm to start studying. College life is very busy, but studying a couple weeks prior to your midterm will definitely help reduce stress and make you feel more confident. Whenever I learn new material in class, I set aside 45 minutes to rewrite my notes or make a quizlet. This helps me reinforce the new concepts and learn everything in smaller chunks, rather than all at once.

2. Work Out At The ARC

Whenever I feel like I need a break from all of the chaos, I love going to the Activities and Recreation Center to work out. This gym is outstanding and there’s literally something for everyone. If you’re a cardio queen and like to crush an intense stair-master workout, or a weightlifter who wants to show off your muscles in front of the guys, this is the place to relieve your stress. If you don’t like working out alone, the ARC offers many group fitness classes like cycling, yoga, barre, and HIIT! Grab some of your closest girlfriends and get moving!

3. Cook Your Favorite Meals

I never thought I would actually enjoy cooking, but after having an apartment and my own kitchen for the past couple of months, it’s been one of my favorite things to do to relieve stress. It’s so satisfying to cook a healthy and fresh meal that will fuel me to study hard for my midterms. My favorite meal to cook recently has been chicken bowls with sweet potato, spinach, carrots, chickpeas, avocado, hummus and rice!

4. Have a Spa Night

Self-care is super important, but many of us often overlook it because we are so caught up in school work and other extracurriculars. Having a spa night is a great way to decompress from a hectic day and giving yourself the opportunity to fully relax will help relieve stress. Taking a hot shower and applying a refreshing face mask to exfoliate your skin will really calm your nerves and make you feel rejuvenated for upcoming exams! Light a lavender-scented candle and your spa night awaits!Photo 1 | Photo 2 | Photo 3 | Photo 4

Rachel is a junior and the VP of Editorial for The University of Illinois' Her Campus chapter. She is a journalism major on a pre-law track.
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