Midterm Week-ness

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How to deal with stress and prepare for midterms

Jessica DeSalvo

It’s that time of the year again. Midterms are here, and students are beginning to experience exam stress. Have no fear, we will provide you with helpful ways to not only prepare for exams, but also to recognize if stress is affecting you and how to cope with it using stress management.

First step to achieving a good grade is preparing yourself for the big exam. It is important that you keep your notes organized throughout the semester to make your study time easier and more productive. On average students will have three or more tests during midterm week. Try to not procrastinate and put off studying for the night before. Make a balanced “time-table” in which you can include the days and times your available to study for each test. Assign break periods in between your studying to exercise and eat. Breaks have actually been proven to not only make your studying more efficient but they allow the brain to take in more information. Don’t miss your everyday meals or lose sleep due to studying. Your brain functions better on a full stomach and a good nights rest.

Stress has a huge effect on how your body works. Stress weakens the blood cells which help fight off infections. So pulling an “all-nighter” the night before an exam adds stress to your body heightening your risk of colds and illness. Drinking caffeine to keep yourself energized or awake while studying may backfire when you “crash” and feel tired during the exam. So although it may seem like a good idea to grab a Starbucks Double Shot of Espresso, try to avoid it at all costs.

When sophomore Aileen Gillick was asked how she prepares for an upcoming exam she stated “I usually like to be alone when I study. I try to go to the library where I can focus better. I also find flash cards helpful to study from.”

Students are easily overwhelmed with the overload of work and exams during midterms week. Stress puts a damper on students, so how do you know if stress is affecting you? The signs are very clear. Common symptoms of stress include headaches and disrupted sleep patterns. Less obvious symptoms include feeling tired at all hours of the day and even signs of a bad temper.

The good thing to know is no matter how stressed out you feel, you are not the only one experiencing it. Most students are finding it just as difficult to concentrate and most of all relax. There are certain ways to cope with stress and manage it in the proper way. A process called “The Relaxation Routine,” from by www.mind.org.uk may be the answer to stress relief during midterm week. Using three easy to follow steps, the relaxation routine soothes your stress away. First close your eyes and breathe slow and deep. Then locate areas of tension in your body and try to focus on each area, one by one relaxing those muscles. To help, think of your tension areas becoming weightless and almost disappearing. After twenty minutes take deep breaths and stretch.

Soon enough, Midterm week will pass and stress levels will be lightened on students. Good luck to all C.W. Post students taking exams this week. Remember to cope and manage stress using the methods and routine provided. For more information, see www.mind.org.ok.

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