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A Guide to Dealing with Semester Stress

WRITTEN BY Shelby Turner

Sometimes it feels like no matter what we do or how on top of our syllabi we stay, the overwhelming wave of mid-semester stress is inevitable and all consuming. It often begins to feel like there is no way to balance taking care of yourself and taking care of your grades.

Luckily though, this doesn’t have to be the case. Here are some tips for balancing your social and academic life.

Staying hydrated and nourishing your body

Remember, it’s just as important to nourish your body as it is to nourish your mind. Having a cute cup or water bottle is a great way to motivate yourself to keep drinking water throughout the day. Planning meals you really enjoy also helps with remembering to eat and feeling motivated to do so – even if you aren’t the one cooking them.

Regardless, without fueling your body properly, it’s impossible to reach your full academic potential.

Planning fun things with your friends or time alone

Taking the bits of free time you can find in your day to do what you enjoy rather than aimlessly scrolling on social media helps to tremendously make the day feel less stressful or mundane.

Whether you plan a fun day with friends in Market Square or a night in by yourself, making this time truly intentional can help it feel more exciting or relaxing. Intentionally planning activities with your friends is a great way to turn off your school-brain for at least a few hours and remind you that there is more to life – and college – than just academics.

Also, adding a detailed self-care section to your to-do list helps keep you accountable for actually taking that time to yourself AND gives you more items to physically cross off – making you feel more productive, because self-care is productive.

Daily movement or mindful time outside

Just like plants, we also need some sunlight and fresh air to flourish. Weather permitting, even just a few minutes in the sun helps to reset our minds and leaves us more refreshed. Mindfully taking a few minutes of the day to check in with ourselves, through breath work or meditation, is also a great way to reset.

The TREC holds weekly mindfulness classes that offer guidance in stepping away from the stress of academics and becoming more present with ourselves. Changing your perspective can also be a huge factor in this, especially when taking the time for traditional “fitness” isn’t sustainable for your schedule.

So yeah, you are taking the dreaded walk to the top of The Hill or to the tip of the Ag campus and it’s awful, but you’re also taking an iconic Hot Girl Walk listening to music or podcasts that make you feel good.

And lastly, remember that you’re just human. Classes are going to be stressful and life is going to be overwhelming, but you aren’t alone in it. Lean on your friends and people who support you when you need it. College isn’t the end all be all – sometimes it’s more important, and even beneficial, to put yourself first.