Managing your midterm stress


Michael Clubb

A student studies in the William T. Young Library on Monday, Aug. 17, 2020, at the University of Kentucky in Lexington, Kentucky. Photo by Michael Clubb | Staff

Delaney McGuire, Reporter

The time has finally come. Midterm season is officially upon us, and for most of us, this period consists of spiraling stress levels, short tempers and overwhelming anxiety.

Many college students experience varying levels of stress for numerous reasons. I know from personal experience that juggling classes, clubs, jobs and social events can affect one’s mental health, especially without access to supportive resources.

The reality is, midterms are stressful. Panicking before an exam is a common experience all college students have dealt with at some point in their life. You’re not alone.

With that in mind, there are many strategies and techniques we can implement in our day-to-day lives to reduce and manage stress during these tedious times.

I have discovered that the most vital step in managing stress is recognizing that what I’m experiencing is normal. Stress is a reaction that happens to everyone. Our bodies are programmed to react to it.

Stress can be beneficial, a way to stay motivated and meet daily challenges, but too much can wear down your body and cause you to feel drained.

According to a poll taken by ACHA 2018, 40% of college students in the U.S. admit to feeling inadequately-rested five out of seven days a week.

One in four American college students indicates that lack of sleep has affected their academic performance negatively: lower grades missed a paper or project deadline and had to withdraw from a class.

The poll shows that 45% of American college students claimed to undergo “more than average stress,” while 33% of students reported “average stress” and 12.7% said it is “tremendous stress.” Students who answered “no stress” or “less than average stress” combined for 9% total.

A strategy I have implemented in my day-to-day life to combat stress is using a planner effectively. I like to write down everything I have to do. Getting it all out of my mind onto that piece of paper is a reliever, almost setting me free of this never-ending thought train. After I have this list, I can efficiently plan and manage my time.

During midterm season especially, being organized is crucial to success. Making sure you can manage your time and can set some aside for yourself has an impact on your physical and mental health.

Another approach to tackling this stress is reaching out for support. Remember that it’s okay to ask for help. You’re not being dramatic or overreacting.

So many students suffer in silence because of the stigma surrounding mental health.

There are multiple resources on campus students can utilize for this exact reason. UK’s Counseling Center offers programs like individual and group counseling sessions, massage chairs, drop-in-workshops and so much more.

My last word of advice is to surround yourself with the right people. Surrounding yourself with encouraging, understanding peers will benefit you in your studies and outside of them. Your advisors and mentors are always willing to talk and want to see you succeed.

Amid this crazy season, I hope the struggle of midterm stress becomes more openly recognized and supported. Hopefully, we can all begin to utilize these strategies in the movement toward the right direction and stop being so hard on ourselves.