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College students are all too familiar with the dreaded time of the semester when every exam, project, or major assignment falls within the span of two weeks: midterms. By the end of it all, you’re physically, mentally, and emotionally drained, mostly running on caffeine (or maybe a stress induced adrenaline rush). After a draining two weeks, it can be difficult to find the motivation stay on top of your work and function as a student. Mid-semester burnout is real. Even though it can feel like a huge obstacle, it is important to take the time to check in with yourself during these times and find ways to recharge that work best for you! By taking the time to refocus your energy and get your priorities together, you can set yourself up for success and finish the rest of the semester off strong!

Take Care of Your Body

It’s so easy to forget to take care of yourself during stressful times like midterms season. Although we don’t realize it, our mind and body work together in a lot of ways that influence our well-being. Sleeping well is definitely most important for college students. With 11:59 pm deadlines and early morning classes, students can feel forced into developing poor sleeping habits. However, by practicing better time management you can overcome this cycle. A good night’s sleep influences your attention, memory, and overall cognitive functioning, so its important to prioritize sleep as a way of allowing yourself to recharge.

Exercising is also a great way to get yourself motivated and clear your mind of academic stress. Especially with remote learning, when most students are stuck sitting at a desk and staring at a screen for hours at a time, carving out time to get active can do wonders for your body and brain. Whether it’s taking a walk or doing a full body work out, exercise is a great way to focus and get yourself feeling energized. Exercising also releases endorphins in the brain, which are chemicls that can make you feel happier. A healthy body creates a healthy mind!  

Reorganize & Get your Priorities Together

The post-midterm haze can make you lose sight of what’s important to you, especially in relation to academic and personal goals. Taking a step back to acknowledge how far you’ve come and what you’ve accomplished is the first step. Then, consider what more you want to do and the necessary steps to get there. Writing out goals and priorities can be a great way to visualize everything and get yourself feeling motivated again! Most importantly, make your planner your best friend. With having to manage classes, extracurriculars, jobs, and personal life, it can be hard to keep track of everything without feeling a little overwhelmed. Use a daily planner, or even the notes app on your phone, to make realistic daily to do lists, and plan ahead for important deadlines and events throughout the week. What’s even more helpful is using a calendar to map out your whole month so you can know what to expect and start anticipating important deadlines in advance. 

Practice Self Care

While dealing with different life stressors, it’s important to check in with how you’re feeling and make some time to take care of yourself mentally and emotionally. Investing time in your hobbies is a great way to alleviate stress. Whether its reading, making art, baking, listening to music, or playing a sport, any activity that engages your personal interests can help distract you from your stress. Journaling is also a great tool for organizing your thoughts and checking in with yourself. Writing out your stress or worries is a positive step towards confronting those feelings and rebuilding your mindset.

Study with Friends

Although this is a virtual semester, don’t let that stop you from connecting with friends and classmates. You can set up zoom meetings or facetime calls with your friends to destress together and find comfort in your similar, stressful experiences. Working with other people is also a great way to stay motivated! Talking through your struggles, even if it is virtually, can really help you feel less alone in your stress.

Iqra is a sophomore majoring in Psychology at the University of Illinois at Chicago. In her free time, she enjoys reading, watching her favorite shows on Netflix, and trying new coffee shops. Iqra also loves getting involved in creative projects!
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