Inside Scope: Mid-Semester De-Stressing Tips


Donya Forst

Donya Forst, Print Editor

The middle of the semester can get really crazy. Midterms are finally over, so you would think things would slow down and get a little easier, but the truth is the hits just keep on coming. I find it goes one of two ways: Either you did really well for your midterm grades, which adds a little extra stress because you don’t want to slack off and have them come down, or you did poorly and you’re struggling to figure out how you are going to pull off at least a B before the semester ends. The need of specific GPA’s for scholarships (or to just stay in your major) can add a little bit into the mix, too. Then add in advising troubles, trying to fit all the classes you want and need into your schedule for next semester, clubs, sports, a social life and problems you didn’t even think you had that somehow manage to come up, and it can get more than a little stressful. Here are a couple tips that can help you de-stress and make life seem a little more bearable:

1. Breathe. Relax. There’s still plenty of time to bring those grades up. If you look at your syllabus for class, you probably haven’t even completed half of the work that goes towards your final grade. Usually midterm grades only include a couple homework assignments, a few quizzes or one test. Chances are you still have at least a couple more tests, projects and assignments that will lift your grade. Some professors save extra credit for the end of the semester or offer a bunch of opportunities throughout the semester. Also, it’s not too late to get a tutor or ask your professor for help. Both offer great advice and can help you bring that grade up.

2. If you have the grades you wanted, just keep doing what you’re doing. Don’t give yourself the extra stress of panicking or freaking out about something that’s never going to happen. You are not going to fail. You won’t let yourself. You know what your professors tests are like now, how they grade and how the classes work. If you made it through the first half with flying colors, so just keep doing what you were doing and you shouldn’t have any problems.

3. Make time to hang out with your friends. It’s not healthy to be alone in a room all day  doing homework or studying. Studies actually show that you don’t really retain any information if you study for longer than 30 minutes at a time. So take that lunch break, go out at night and have some fun. Be happy. College only happens once. Make those memories because they’re going to wind up being something you remember forever.

4. Find something you love to do and do it. Whether it’s going to gym to get out some of that anger, doing yoga, writing creative stories or keeping a journal, playing sports or just watching a movie with some friends, go do it. Doing something you are passionate about helps to release that tension, and without even realizing it, you become less stressed within minutes. You’ll feel refreshed and ready to bang out that ten-page paper when you’re done.

5. Stay healthy. Eating junk food and chicken patties in the dining hall every day isn’t going to help anything. That phrase “happy body, happy mind” is true. The more nutrients your body gets, the better the mind is able to concentrate on a task. So add some fruits and veggies to your diet, stay away from fried foods for a while and try something new. Exercise is important, too. It’s not only a good way to unwind, but when you feel better about yourself, you perform better. Take 30 minutes and get away from the books to go for a run or do your favorite workout.

Sometimes the little things help the most. Even just a call to a family member or friend back home can make everything seem okay. Remember, this is just the beginning. There is still so much to look forward to. Take it one day at a time and don’t let it stress you out too much. Your body is only designed to handle so much, so take it easy and think about how it will be worth it  down the line. All of this hard work and dedication will lead to a job, a family and a life you can be proud of. This is just one step in a big journey called life.