t’s midterm season! For some, it’s likely been that way since the third week of school. Tests, essays, projects, presentations, summer planning, job interviews–they all seem to pile up day after day with no end in sight. And no, having a Thursday and Friday off and calling it a ‘break’ does not magically make all of that stress disappear. The somber reality remains that there’s no way to completely avoid work, but there are still methods to not drive yourself insane in the process of driving yourself to success.
If you feel like every day is filled with immense amounts of work, try to find an activity that calms you down. Then do that activity at the end of every hard-working day. For me, there’s nothing better than watching about 20 minutes of television right before bed. I get to catch up on my favorite shows and I don’t have to think about school or clubs or any of the things that consume my time during the day. It’s relieving. You might find an escape in yoga, or napping, or knitting–it can truly be whatever. But try adding some rejuvenation to a taxing day because no one deserves to go to bed stressed.
You should never feel hesitant to tell your close friends or family what’s going on in your life. When you need to… just vent! Sometimes talking about your problems can make you feel like a burden, especially if you’re talking about situations that everyone around you is experiencing. But the people that truly care will be willing to listen and even vent to you if they feel the same way. If you feel that you can’t talk to anyone you know, try going to CAPS (Counseling and Psychological Services). And if you’d rather talk to another student about school, Penn Benjamins Peer Counseling is an on campus group just for that!
If needed, take a personal day. There is absolutely nothing wrong with stopping snap streaks, refusing to join your friends for a night out, locking your door, and just trying to find some composure in all the chaos that fall semester brings. As long as you inform the people closest to you of your plans to go M.I.A so that they don’t worry, you are not at fault. Personal days are essential during stressful times. I find it very hard to believe that there are some people at this school who don’t need a single day just to relieve themselves of the semester’s hardships. If it’s in your best interest to stop, catch a breath, and meditate on everything that’s going on in your life, then go for it. Your mental health is more important than an essay.
It’s unfortunate that college can induce extreme amounts of anxiety and stress. But if you ever feel like it’s overwhelming or even unbearable, you are not alone. The worst thing you could do during this time is chose your work over yourself and that does not have to be the case. Find what takes away your stress and add it to your daily routine. It might not get the work done, but it’ll keep you sane and that will make all the difference.