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Wellness > Mental Health

4 Tips to Combat Spring Semester Stress

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

As the third week of the spring semester approached, I noticed something. While all my assignments were turned in on time, my bedroom became a drop-off for piles of clothes I didn’t want to put away just yet! But, more importantly, my thoughts raced when professors mentioned upcoming assignments and exams. I did what any stressed college student would do in this situation: slept less and worked longer hours. Something needed to change, and fast! 

Not taking care of myself like this on a regular basis led to a messy dorm, tired eyes, and, most importantly, burnout. This is why balancing mental well-being alongside productivity is so vital.

If the noise of college ever drowns out your rituals of self care like it did mine, here are some tips to calm down as the semester ramps up:


Even if your dorm is a mess, keeping your room’s defining feature clean can bring great clarity and peace of mind into your space. Organizational consultant, Marie Kondo, finds that decluttering interiors directly influences how much joy we allow into our lives. For college students, apartments and dorms can become a landing spot for clutter after a long day. I’ve found that when my space is treated with more mindfulness, this effort translates to how intentionally I care for myself as well. So why not make your nest a place that brings joy rather than let it become another item on your to-do list to clean up? Simply making your bed each morning can be the perfect way to start.


Swapping time in bed for schoolwork may seem like a great idea until weeks of sleep deprivation creep up on you. To keep your brain working at full capacity, resting is worth not staying up those extra few hours. According to Harvard.edu, there is a gap between the amount of sleep young adults need and what they actually get. They find that “70– 96% of college students get less than eight hours of sleep each week night” and that “over half of college students sleep less than seven hours per night” (“Why You Should Make a Good Night’s Sleep a Priority”). I’ve definitely fallen into that less-than-seven-hours category on many nights. For this reason, setting a bedtime for myself has been an important factor to get my mental health back on track.


Having fun with friends can be just as important as getting work done. Instead of pushing along with work, try spending time with the people you love to relieve your stress levels. After all, you deserve it! When I need to step back from my laptop, my favorite hang outs include thrifting, playing instruments, and skating/walking around campus.

At busier points in your semester, you may need to combine schoolwork and friends to stay on top of assignments. Planning study sessions with friends has helped me remain motivated while also having fun with my favorite people.


College can be full of sedentary moments while completing assignments and sitting in time-intensive classes. Physical activity quickly became my go-to outlet for college related stress. Post University’s blog writes that there are links between physical movement and improved concentration, memory, and creativity. In my own life, I’ve noticed the difference in mental clarity when I take the extra time each week to be active. My personal favorite activities include running, strength training, yoga, and pilates. I love these workouts because they require minimal equipment and are accessible from home. Even on days when I lack the energy to go to the gym, guided YouTube tutorials offer indoor workouts for beginners. Because mental health and exercise are so closely correlated, finding ways to get moving can be a great stress reliever.

With these top 4 self-care tips, you can keep your mental sanity intact as your semester kicks off. From keeping a clean space to prioritizing movement, it’s important to take time out of each day for yourself. And yes, I finally did get around to cleaning up that pile of clothes on my dorm room floor!

Alex Lyons

Kutztown '24

Alex Lyons is a contributing writer at her campus chapter. Outside HerCampus, Alex majors in Professional Writing with a double minor in Film Production and Women's Studies. She is a contributor to Essence Literary and Fine Arts Magazine. Alex is most passionate when writing about advocacy-related topics. In her free time, Alex’s hobbies include going to house shows, practicing drums and baking. Her favorite TV shows are Mr. Robot, Black Mirror, and Breaking Bad.