Headspace: Mental health tips for the exam-focused student

It’s midterm season, and I bet many of you can relate when I see my planner and feel betrayed by the two midterms scheduled next week.

Professors make fancy schedules with due dates, and we simply ignore that section on the syllabus, as we do for the whole document. Realizing midterms are coming up can be stressful for many of us. That’s why I’ll tell you some of my secrets about how I manage them.

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I value sleep too much, so pulling all-nighters is not for me. I can’t fully function with a full eight-hour night of sleep, and I will definitely not settle for less. According to the American Psychological Association, sleep helps to consolidate into your memory everything that was learned during the day. Sleep is one thing many students take for granted, but it’s time to realize that sleep is always on your side.

Time management goes hand-in-hand with a good sleep schedule. It’s hard finding time to study when my day-to-day consists of school, work, extracurricular activities, commuting, staying in touch with friends and family and all the other responsibilities that come with being a college student. That’s why time management is key when you know midterms are coming up. Just studying a couple minutes days in advance is one way I reduce the amount of studying I must do the day before the test. Finding study time without disrupting your normal schedule will not only help you prepare for midterms, but also maintain your stress at an optimal level.

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Delgado is a psychology senior and Counseling and Psychological Services ambassador.

Eating healthy should be a lifestyle, but I know having many fast food restaurants on campus can be tempting, cheap and convenient. Next time you order food, maybe get grilled chicken instead of fried chicken. Just some food for thought (pun intended).

During midterms, I struggle to find time to go to the Maverick Activities Center, but I make sure to at least do some type of physical activity during the day. For example, during my study breaks I leave the library and walk around campus for a couple of minutes. Not only do I get my steps in, but I’m able to take my mind off of studying for a little while.

My last and favorite tip is talking to my friends and family. Yes, this may or may not distract you from what you are supposed to do, but it’s beneficial for everyone involved. Your friends might be going through midterms too, so check up on them to make sure they are doing OK. Calling them or buying them coffee can change their mood during a stressful time, and maybe later they’ll thank you by reciprocating the act of kindness. We are all in the same boat so we might as well help each other out.

Know that you are not alone in the process, and soon all the stress and anxiety will be over. Take advantage of your time and be mindful of your body. Believe in yourself and know that you’ve done everything you could do to ace your exams. 

Good luck, I believe in you!



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