Tag Archive: exams


Healthy ways to relax and release stress

It’s 2 a.m. and you’re on the 6th floor of Davis Library, chugging Red Bulls and cramming for the test and presentation you have tomorrow – or is it today?

This scenario is a common one on campus.  With midterms and papers fast approaching, many students are nearing the breaking point.  At this point in the semester, it’s easy to become completely consumed by stress, which can affect your eating habits, exercise routine, sleeping patterns and mental health.  In times of stress, it’s important to stay calm, focused and optimistic. But have no fear – there are countless easy ways to relax and unwind.

Exercise

Working out is a great way to let off steam.  Do yoga in the quiet of your dorm room, go for a run around campus or participate in a group exercise class like Zumba or Cardio Pump. You’ll be able to briefly take your mind off of the things causing you stress while also doing something productive and healthy.  The endorphins exercise releases are known to improve mood, too.

Drink something

I’m not talking about alcoholic beverages.  Enjoying a warm drink on a chilly day can be a soothing treat. If possible, escape from the library for a few moments to clear your head and refuel.  Hot chocolate, lattes and green tea are just a few options.  I never feel calmer than when drinking coffee and people-watching in the Pit.

Forest Theatre

Spending time outside is a wonderful way to alleviate stress.  Fresh air and sunshine will make any bad day seem better. Whether walking through Coker Arboretum, sunbathing in Polk Place or sitting outside of the Daily Grind, stress will seem to drift away with the autumn breeze.

Sleep

Although we tend to get by on much less, it’s crucial that college students sleep for at least seven or eight hours per night.  Being well rested has been shown to improve cognitive functioning and academic performance.  Getting enough sleep is also necessary in that it helps to stabilize mood.  For example, sleep deprivation has been linked to depression.  It’s almost always better to study a little less if it means you can sleep a little more.

Take a break

If you’ve been studying for hours and think you will spontaneously combust if forced to read another sentence, it’s probably time for a study break.  Grab a healthy snack, watch a few minutes of TV or play a game. Sudoku and crossword puzzles are my personal favorites, but any other entertaining game or puzzle will suffice.  Just be careful your five-minute break doesn’t turn into an hour-long YouTube or Facebook session.

Listen to soothing music

Turn on your favorite channel on Pandora.com or go to stereomood.com, a website at which you can pick a playlist that corresponds to an emotion you’re feeling. Make a list of go-to songs in times of intense stress.  Close your eyes, take a few deep breaths and tune into the sound of the music.  When I’m a bundle of nerves, I listen to “Breathe Me” by Sia in order to release tension.

It’s easy to become overwhelmed by stress, but that doesn’t have to be the case.  If balancing academic pressure, extracurricular responsibilities and a social life is about to give you a mental breakdown, step back for a moment.  Do something that makes you feel calm, whether that may be walking around campus, reading a novel or listening to a favorite song. Before you know it, midterms will be over.

And then you can worry about finals.

– Georgia Cavanaugh

Why I love midterms

Midterms officially kicked into high gear this week, so I would like to take a moment and explain why I love them so freaking much:

  • Multiple hours of slaving away inside Davis Library. It’s industrious to know you’re studying in the same building where babies are made on the 8th floor.
  • Professors may deny their vanity over the course of the semester, but midterms unveil how vain they really are: They all try to one-up each other by scheduling as many midterms for you as possible in the same week. Sly dogs.
  • I lose sleep. The recommended amount is 7-9 hours a night, and I usually average 5-7. Midterms bring me down to 3-5 hours. But wait! This is a good thing! According to the economic law of marginal utility, the more you do something, the less satisfaction you receive from it, so less sleep = lower opportunity costs! Yay!
  • The amount of coffee consumption triples, due to all nighters and more studying on campus. I (sarcastically) told a friend a few weeks ago that I wanted to pick up a coffee habit, so… mission accomplished.
  • You have a greater chance of getting sick, since your mind and body are stressed so much. We have a pretty exciting epidemic to catch this year. A good “swine flu” story is so much more badass than an “I got a cold” story.
  • There’s very little space to study on campus. I especially love this, because I can then spend multiple hours wandering from Davis to the UL to Graham Memorial in an attempt to find an open study spot. From Graham Memorial, I often go to the Union. If the Union is full (it usually is), I’ll try to find an open classroom. But if it’s after 9, the buildings are locked. At this point, I check the Caribou Coffee on Franklin Street, but all the tables are taken there, too. Thus, I must cross the street and enter my nemesis, Starbucks, looking for an empty chair. Of course, there is none. I wander back onto campus, this time into Hanes Art Center, but I don’t know why I bother; there’s hardly any study room in this building, and oh yeah, it’s locked. So I get in my car and drive back to my apartment and go to sleep. Studying is exhausting.

-Sonya Chudgar

Please, anything but exams!

Exam week: a college student’s worst nightmare. Here are some tips to get you through the week without completely stressing out.

1. When you finally do decide to sit down and study, make sure you have everything you need or might need at hand. Getting up to find a notebook while you’re studying is just going to throw you off track.

2. Yes, it is important to cram as much information into your head as will fit, but remember that it is still important to take some study breaks. Don’t schedule your breaks — take them when you see that your attention span is waning.

3. Change up the scenery—spending an ENTIRE week in Davis is definitely not healthy.

4. Remember to sleep. If you’re pulling all-nighters, it will only be that much harder to pay attention to your exam.

5. Contrary to popular belief, exams are not the end of the world. You will make it through. Plus, once your done you barely need to think for the next month!

By Rachel Scall