Alleviating the stress of midterms

The middle of the semester on the Sam Houston campus has come upon students quickly. Mid-terms, projects and work schedules have made school a little more stressful than usual. There are many ways that students can manage the stress that overwhelms them.

Dr. William Metcalfe, director in the counseling center, said the center gets several students needing help with managing their stress.

“Stress is something that kind of motivates us to do things,” said Metcalfe. “It is how much stress and how we manage it that is really the key.”

Metcalfe said students have normal stress especially when they know a mid-term is coming up and may have not prepared enough for it.

“The lesson to learn is to plan ahead more and to manage your time more to prepare,” said Metcalfe.

Sophomore Ali Coronis said mid-terms are what stresses her out the most because they are all going on in the same week.

“To alleviate the stress, we usually go to the hot tub or get a group of friends together to play sand volleyball,” said Coronis. “A little exercise always makes us feel better.”

Stress comes in different forms for everybody and it mostly depends on how many hours the student is taking and the types of classes. “This semester, it seems like [there are] a lot of deadlines for assignments, presentations and projects [and] they are all falling around the same time,” said senior Nicole Brown.

What do we do when we are feeling stressed? Metcalfe said one of the first things to do is to recognize what we have control over.

“Many people stress out over things they don’t have control over, for example, what’s going to be on the test,” said Metcalfe. The key thing is to stay focused and prepare ahead of time, he said.

Brown seems to take a similar approach to managing the stress in her life.

“In order to avoid stress, I try to do as much work as I can when I have the free time to do so,” said Brown. She said she likes to do this because she is able to stay on top of things better and won’t fall to far behind in her classes.

Metcalfe said there are things we can do physically to manage the stress.

“No matter how stressed you are, take time to eat healthy, balanced meals and get some rest,” he said.

Also keep a balance between your social and academic life, he said. Metcalfe said relaxing, socializing, and having fun is important but balancing that time with study time is important as well.

Sophomore Katherine Meyer said food is an important asset to have to alleviate stress. “I don’t think people realize how important it is to eat breakfast [because] trying to get through the day on an empty stomach is stressful in itself,” she said. Meyer said she likes to take 30 minutes or so to relax before homework and exercising helps her to concentrate on studying later.

Metcalfe said talking about the stress is good and will provide marginal relief but in the long run the student needs to some things differently in their lifestyles to help manage the stress for the future.

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