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5 Ways to De-stress During Midterms

5 Ways to De-Stress During Midterms


As the midterm season descends upon us all, it is easy to lose a sense of self amidst the studying and stress. Between the sheafs of study guides and sleepless nights, it is important to step back, take a break, and let go of the deep stresses in life.


1. Get organized. What do you need to do? Three papers, two exams? Well, okay. How many pages? Make a schedule. A paper due Tuesday, an exam Wednesday, a paper Friday? Do your research over the weekend. Get one out of the way. Take it in steps; each paper and exam will come in its own time. Do you have a system? Try this: Bring one subject with you at a time. Go somewhere, set it all out. Outline your paper, then step away. Or- outline a chapter, step away. Write the first page, step away. You can do this! Take a brief Facebook or Tumblr break, if you’re feeling restless. You can do it! When you can finally check one thing off, though, it will feel so good. You never have to look back again, if you don’t want. Isn’t that a nice feeling? That’s what you’re working towards. Not so hard now, is it?


2. Put things in perspective. Take fifteen minutes in between studying sessions and look back at what you have accomplished. Have you gotten through two chapters? Five? Well done! Let it go for the time being. Close the computer, shut the book, turn over your notes. Walk away, and take a moment to reflect. You’ve done a lot. You should be proud! School is difficult, but you’ll be fine. You’ll get everything done. You always do. Five years from now, these fifteen minutes you spend emotionally rejuvenating will do more for you than your impending midterm grade. Keep that in mind, now. Put things in perspective. Fifteen minutes does not decide the difference between pride and shame.


3. Take a real study break. Schedule in time for a book or Netflix session. If you plan out time for relaxation, you will feel less guilty about stepping away- and you will know when to return. Take Friday evenings off, at least. Lose yourself in something other than a textbook. Pick up something new, or return to an old friend. Here are some personal favourites:


  • Life of Pi- Yann Martel

  • The Perks of Being A Wallflower- Stephen Chbosky

  • Snow In August- Pete Hamill


4. Get off campus, kids. Take a bus to Amherst or Northampton. Switch your studying areas. Or don’t bring any work at all. Sit down in a coffee shop, get some frozen yogurt, a pastry, whatever you like. Go for a walk, or go window shopping. Sometimes a small change of pace is enough to help put things in perspective.


5. Plan for after the exam. There is life after, promise! Spring break is close, so close! You have a week of freedom. There are great things in store! Make a list of things you’re doing during spring break, and keep it by your work. When exams and papers get to be too much, take a look. There are things to look forward to, see? It’ll be great. And don’t you always get through things? It will all be done in the end and you will be free. It will feel even better because you will know you have earned it. And that’s such a good feeling.


Happy Studies, and Happy (almost) Spring Break :)

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