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Midterm Blues: How To Stay Rested and Refreshed During a Busy Semester

We’ve made it. We are back to a “typical” lifestyle for fall 2021 at UMass. It is wonderful, it is energizing, it is refreshing, but it is also EXHAUSTING. Especially now that we are at the midpoint of the semester, the stress and chaos of a busy, busy semester are definitely prevalent. Here are some tips that I use to stay healthy and successful!

1. Create time in your schedule for fun (balance is key)

When there are ten assignments hanging over your heads, it is tempting to skip social activities with friends to study or do homework. Finding a balance is extremely important to your mental and physical health. Nobody should be staring at a computer screen all day, so take that nature walk or coffee break. Western Massachusetts is absolutely beautiful in the fall, so it would be a shame if you didn’t take advantage of the quintessential fall activities that you deserve to experience. 

2. Remember the big picture 

At this moment in time, you are working on specific assignments, in specific classes, in a specific semester, for a specific major, at a specific school. If you take a moment to step back at look at the trajectory of your life, a single paper or exam that is currently consuming all of your energy is not going to make or break your life. It is important to dedicate time to study for exams and put your best foot forward, but I have found that midterms or important assignments seem less daunting when you zoom out your lens. Putting in effort and trying your best is seriously all that you can do. Everything will work out the way it is supposed to!

3. REST, REST, REST

I am the first person that needs to take this piece of advice. Rest is the secret to success. You can do virtually everything better with a good night’s sleep under your belt. Since life is so busy, it can be difficult to unplug and truly go to bed at a reasonable hour. My biggest enemy is laying on my phone in bed before going to sleep. One minute I’m opening TikTok, and suddenly an hour has gone by! Although TikTok can provide some good laughs, an additional hour of sleep is most likely more beneficial to my overall health. Maybe limit yourself to only ten minutes, or eliminate electronics before bed completely — even small changes can make a big difference. If you know you’re most productive at midnight, that’s totally fine, but fit in a nap sometime the next day to even it out. Staying well-rested gives you more energy on a day-to-day basis, but will also keep you healthy. Being rundown makes your body more susceptible to sickness — and we don’t want that! 

Take the time to reflect on these tips, but also what tips may work better for you. Midterms are stressful, but YOU’VE GOT THIS. Balance is key to a healthy lifestyle — so grind out that paper, but fit in a trip to a pumpkin patch as well! 

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Jessica Shay

U Mass Amherst '23

Jessica Shay is a junior at UMass Amherst and this is her third semester writing for HerCampus. She loves working with kids and plans to become a teacher. When she's not in class, you can find her reading, baking, or teaching spin classes at the Rec Center.
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