Time is quickly passing by and shows no sign of slowing down. It feels like the semester just began, yet it is already October, which means midterms are close. That lovely mid-point where our knowledge and progress are assessed with difficult exams seemingly designed to make students miserable. However, these difficult tests don’t have to elicit the same hair pulling, frantic response that is associated with midterms and finals. By understanding the signs and symptoms of excessive stress, steps can be taken to mitigate the issue.
There are many stressors that could trigger a stress response and they vary from person to person. Recognizing what type of stress you are under and what types of feelings a stressor causes is crucial. If you are experiencing large amounts of stress, know that there are alternatives to nail biting and sweating bullets. Seeking out social support can be one of the most stress relieving actions, so when it is possible try to hold study sessions with friends. Study groups can be beneficial, but be sure to seek out committed, responsible peers that will be both fun and productive.
Another way to ensure that stress does not best you is to avoid last minute cram sessions. Instead of the last minute study session, try to give yourself a deadline that is at least three days prior to the actual deadline–that way you have time to ensure you are prepared for the exam .
Managing stress during midterms and throughout life can be tricky, but here are some tips to make your mid-term experience a successful one.
Take inventory of the biggest stressors in your life.
Can any be modified or eliminated?
Would time management help?
Be mindful of what you say to yourself.
Try to keep your self-talk positive.
Have realistic expectations.
Prioritize and shift your attention to what is really important.
Boost your confidence.
Be attentive and find what works best to deal with your stressors.
Be organized. Use a planner, a calendar, or sticky notes to stay on top of your tasks.
Take time for yourself.
Nutrition, exercise and spending time with friends are sometimes the best medicine.
Learn techniques designed to relieve the physical symptoms of stress.
Try progressive relaxation, deep breathing, yoga, or meditation.
Enjoy the small things in life
When stress is high, try to appreciate the little things that make you happy, like the beautiful evening sky or the company of a good friend.
Nic Brock can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org