It seems surreal that we are already nine weeks into this semester. That means it’s midterm time. For many, I am sure it feels that each week flies by, at least they do for me. I map out my weeks based on my assignments and due dates, so when I check off something from my planner, I am one more step to completing my week.
There are so many new and challenging components to this semester being online, but one thing that felt the same to me as last year was my stress over midterms. It was almost a welcomed sense of normalcy because college students shouldn’t be worried and stressed in the middle of assignments. Before I could enjoy the normalcy, though, I needed to find some ways to get through my papers and exams as well as not let my stress and anxiety overpower me.
Getting assignments done and completed on time is always a top priority, but so is my mental and physical well-being. It is important to remember you are just one person and can only get so much done in a day, and our brains and bodies cannot do work continuously for hours without some breaks. There are many different outlets to give your brain and body time to pause and relax.
- Watch A Show/Movie
Sometimes all it takes for my mind to clear is to put on a movie or tv show. I love watching new things as well as re-watching my favorites. As far as tv shows, I am watching “Bones” right now for the first time, I treat myself to an episode or two after I get some assignments done. Re-watching shows like “New Girl” or “Gilmore Girls” gives me the necessary rest time where I won’t get sucked into continuing the series. I tend to save movies after finishing my work or when I have most of it done because longer movies tend to draw your attention farther away from finishing work.
- Get on Social Media
After looking at a textbook and a computer screen, I can feel disconnected from the world, so I like to catch up and spend time on Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, and my guilty pleasure TikTok. I treat social media as a reward system, so depending on how long I worked and how many assignments I completed, I base my time on social media off of that. A helpful tip to keep me focused and on track is to set a timer for however long you want to allow yourself to be on social media. When the alarm goes off, it is time to get back to work!
- Engage in An Activity You Enjoy
I love to read, so taking a break from work and assignments to read a few chapters of a book is very relaxing. I feel refreshed and energized after reading, so my mind is clear and ready to continue working. Maybe for you, it is drawing, going for a run, playing an instrument, etc. It is important to incorporate things you love into your everyday life.
- Take Time to Talk
Especially now, since classes are online, we are not having as much human interaction as we are used to. For the most part, we are social creatures, so having a positive connection can really impact your day. I have a few friends I like to Facetime and grab coffee with, socially distanced, of course. Just taking an hour or so to catch up and talk about nothing and everything at the same time. This gives my mind time to clear and reboot, so I have a positive attitude when I go back to work. It doesn’t always have to be the same person either, or it doesn’t have to be someone in college. I have to talk to my mom every day. I have a routine where I call her at least once a day, but sometimes I need to talk multiple times. It gives me a safe outlet to unwind and vent my frustration, as well as share my accomplishments.
These are strange and peculiar times to be a college student; there’s no doubt about that. Along with the added challenges and struggles brought on by the pandemic, there are still basic college student struggles. The most important priority should be to remember to take care of your mind and body.