This time in the semester emotions and tensions run high.
Responsibilities like classes, jobs and extracurricular activities start to add up and take a toll on students. As a campus community, students must acknowledge this added pressure can have a negative effect on relationships with friends and classmates, but also have significant physical and emotional effects.
Stress in college can come from many places– a heavy credit load, not succeeding in a class and getting caught up on small mistakes. However, we must not demonize our mistakes but learn from them. That is one of the great things about academia, we have the luxury of messing up — even though it might not seem like it sometimes. Making mistakes in relationships, workload amount and academics are learning opportunities that turn us into more experienced adults who know our limits.
Keep in mind, students are not the only demographic on campus that become stressed this time of year. The semester workload takes a large toll on professors who often have packed schedules and multiple other responsibilities outside of the classroom. Just as students lose patience with one another, so do professors.
We must remember that our responsibilities are not as important as we make them out to be. Midterm tests and presentations may appear to be a burden now, but will probably have little impact on your life in 10 years. That being said, if you make regularly failing tests and blowing off homework a habit, you might have a problem unrelated to stress.
If you find yourself too stressed to function properly or enjoy your college experience, talk to someone and get help. Talk to your friends, family and a mentor about how to reduce stress, and always know the Counseling and Testing Center is there to help and listen.
Take mental breaks during the day and find 30 to 45 minutes for yourself to relax and detach from the daily grind. It can be something as simple as playing a computer game or taking a walk around campus, but can offer much needed down time in a busy schedule.
Exercise is another key part of reducing stress and the Rec Center offers multiple classes to work off some of that pressure. They offer many stress relieving classes and activities from yoga to cycling sessions.
College years are designed to be stressful, however, do not let stress impede you from having a healthy life. Midterm week is just one of the many times during the year where students can take solace in knowing that many other classmates and professors are experiencing similar stresses.
Ryan Tarinelli can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org