How to deal with mid-semester stress and anxiety

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By Kaylie Flannigan
Staff Writer

It’s finally here: the time of the semester you’ve been waiting for yet simultaneously dreading. How did it already happen? How are all the exams and papers building up? How is life still functioning?

Scantron exam sheet

(Photo from COCOEN Daily Photos/Foter.com)

Mid-semester is like a small mid-life crisis, only you get to experience around eight of them throughout your college career. Just remember, life will go on after this. Hopefully.

Right now, you probably are reading this article as a procrastination tool instead of working on those mid-semester stresses. Or you might be very well enjoying coffee during a well-scheduled break.

Either way, you probably need to hear all of this right now.
You. Are. Awesome.

Look at you: you’re already making progress on obtaining your undergraduate degree. So many people are unable to stand in your shoes. You are so lucky, and so wonderful for all the hard work you do.

Take a break.

Take some time for yourself today. Sit outside, watch some cat videos on the Internet, maybe even call a friend or your mom. (I’m sure she would love to hear from you.) Make sure to let your brain relax so it can stay strong for the rest of the semester. Maybe even knit or meditate — whatever makes you feel good.

Plan accordingly.

Make sure to plan your time so that you do not feel overwhelmed with piles and piles of work falling all over you last minute. It may seem easy to put everything off now, but in a few days you’ll wish you had planned ahead.

Exercise.

I know — the gym is far, but even just a small amount of exercise a day can make you feel so much better. A small amount of endorphins can go a long way, and you can watch a fun show on the treadmill.

Sleep.

Make sure you’re getting adequate rest. If you do not sleep, it will only make your anxiety and stress worse because you’ll be so exhausted on top of everything that you won’t be productive. Make sure to take care of yourself and sleep when your body tells you to.

Journal.

Another way to really feel awesome about overcoming papers and exams, as well as prepping for them, is keeping a journal. Writing can be really therapeutic and helpful for organizing your thoughts and feelings.

Find a puppy/kitten.

The rumors are true that petting animals can be therapeutic and help alleviate stress. Find a friend with a pet and try to make a plan.

Mid-semester stress is kind of a preview of how the rest of life may be. The main thing you need to remember is that it is only temporary and most certainly won’t last forever. You need to make sure to stay sane long enough to finish the semester and then you get a nice long break. Keep pushing yourself at a safe speed and remember that you are always growing, learning, and improving. You don’t have to be perfect, but you do need to pass!