Campus-wide, students are coming to the unpleasant realization that midterms week is fast approaching.
College is an emotional rollercoaster, and midterms week (a.k.a. finals lite) can throw even the most securely fastened among us for a loop-the-loop of stress. But if you follow our sage advice and keep your hands, arms, feet and legs inside the vehicle at all times, we can all but assure that you’ll make it to October break unscathed.
True, than others. You’re probably not one of them. If you’re consistently getting less than seven hours of sleep a night, commit to sleeping for eight or nine tonight. Make a note of how much better you feel the next day.
DON’T: PULL AN ALL-NIGHTER
If there’s one thing you take away from this, let it be that sleep is super good for you. If you can take away another thing, let it be that NOT sleeping is super bad for you. Your , your , and you’re in the distant future that could have been avoided by just .
DO: STUDY WITH FRIENDS
You can obviously still spend time with your friends when you’re stressed, even if you aren’t in the same classes. It can be helpful to have someone to bounce ideas off of if you’ve got writer’s block, and when you make plans to study with a friend or two, it helps you hold yourself accountable and can force you to actually study.
DON’T: “STUDY” WITH FRIENDS
But if you’re too much of a social butterfly, your study group could end up backfiring. According to a Dartmouth study titled “,” students with more tightly-knit social circles had the greatest risk of pulling each other down academically.
Look, after after has shown that even a modest amount of exercise makes the whole emotional rollercoaster of life less bumpy. To those of you who manage to work out on a regular basis: We’re proud of you. Don’t skip your workout because you’re stressed.
But if you’re gym-phobic or opposed to the idea of breaking a sweat, then just take a walk when you need a break from studying. Our campus is beautiful — stop and smell the roses. Or the bluff. And don’t forget your raincoat.
DON’T: STRESS-EAT JUNK FOOD
If you’ve got a lot on your plate, constant snacking isn’t going to clear it. Stress is a perfectly natural biological response, but your body can’t tell the difference between a stressful study session and a session. While comfort foods do tend to help dull the stress response, there are healthier ways to detox. Try meditating, or a low-intensity workout like yoga.
DON’T: TREAT YO’ SELF
This is a term that gets thrown around a lot this time of year, and while Donna and Tom of “Parks and Recreation” taught us all that a day of indulgence once a year is exactly what the doctor ordered, “treating yo’ self” has become an excuse for lazy instant gratification.
“Self-care” is not lying in bed shopping online for two hours when you should be studying for your physics midterm. Staying horizontal under the covers and pretending your responsibilities don’t exist might make for a funny tweet, but it’s bad for your mental and physical health. Get up. Go to the library. Don’t use the classic Pawnee holiday (traditionally celebrated October 13) as an excuse to not get your sh*t done.
DO: TREAT YO’ SELF
Turn this phrase on its head now. Treat yo’ self to a healthy week even at your highest point of stress. Treat yo’ self to a half-hour on the treadmill even though you have three papers to write. Treat yo’ self to clear skin by drinking at least six glasses of water a day and washing your face. Treat yo’ self to a less stressful midterms week by getting ahead on your work now.
DO: BE KIND TO THOSE AROUND YOU
Sometimes we roll ourselves into a bundle of stress and we waddle around without much regard for others. But being kind makes you feel lighter, happier and like the weight of the world is a . Smile at your barista, and ask them how their day is going. Get out of your own head and listen to how other people are feeling.
DON’T: BE AFRAID TO ASK FOR HELP
Last but not least, it’s ok to need help. If you’re worried about an exam, go to your professor’s office hours. It’s always helpful to work on tough concepts one-on-one, and who better to talk you through a problem than the person writing your exam? Your professors won’t think you’re stupid — if anything, they’ll notice the extra effort you’re making.
We also have resource after resource on campus with the expertise to talk you through whatever’s weighing you down. Make an appointment with the , talk to someone from or hall staff, if you live on-campus. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, don’t think you have to suffer in silence.