Three steps to end semester stress-free

By: Steven Goodman – Columnist, Sophomore

For many of us, October and November are the busiest months of the semester. Midterms that are supposed to take one week get strung over the entire month of October, the organizations you are involved in start to get extra busy, final projects, papers and portfolios get assigned, and professors try to cram as much information as possible into the remaining time. Additionally, if you’re an engineer, like me, or a senior, you’re searching for a co-op position or a full-time job.

Keeping up with all of this, not to mention the constant flow of homework you still have, can be extremely challenging and stressful. Making sure you keep a level head while working through the remaining weeks of the semester is important and limiting your stress level is key. With that in mind, here are some of the best ways I’ve found to relieve stress.

There’s a reason the RecPlex is open 24 hours during final exam week: exercise cuts down on stress. This was something I had always been told, but I never really believed it until my freshman year. Just going to the gym for 15 minutes can help you feel less stressed, not to mention the fact that exercising helps increase your memory, makes you more productive and sharpens your focus, all of which are perfect when you feel overloaded by work. Don’t want to go to the gym? You don’t have to. Take a run around campus, rent a bike from the RecPlex or just go on a walk. Just getting up and moving can make a huge difference.

The next strategy is plain and simple: don’t do all of your work at once! It might seem like a good idea to sit down and finish all of your studying at one time instead of spreading it out over a couple days, but trust me, it’s not. Your mind needs a break from studying, and it can be even more stressful to try and complete three or four different assignments in one sitting rather than taking a day or two. Spreading your work out will not only help to keep you stress-free, but you’ll be more likely to do each assignment right.

Along with not doing all of your work in one sitting, make sure to give yourself a break. You’ll need time for your brain to refresh before starting a new topic or even revisiting an old topic. Whether your idea of a break is hanging out with friends, watching TV or even taking a nap, just be sure to think about yourself while studying. Keeping your brain fresh will help prevent stress with studying in the future.

Making sure you aren’t stressed is the best way to succeed in a semester, especially as it starts to wind down. You don’t have to try all of these; even just one of the things I’ve listed can help you a great deal. On the other side, though, make sure you don’t forget about your other work by taking too many breaks or having that 15-minute nap turn into a two-hour nap. It’s all about balance, so make sure you finish out the semester strong.

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