Midterms are a stressful time for college students. Healthy methods of stress management can help alleviate the negative symptoms of stress. Photo by Laura Von Kampen.
by Autumn Johnson
Concordia’s third quarter ends right before spring break, and students are stressed about midterms. Stress management looks different for everyone.
In a survey conducted by the Sower, approximately 50 students shared the top three ways they “de-stress.” The number one answer was physical activity. Many students said they go to the gym, play sports and do outdoor activities.
“I’ll go and work out and punch things to relieve stress. So (I use) physical activity to relieve stress,” freshman Garret Drews said.
The second most popular way students manage stress is tied three ways among sleeping, hanging out with friends, and listening to music. The last highly-ranked stress management tactic for students is watching movies and/or television.
Some other “de-stressors” that students repeatedly mentioned include making to-do lists, being creative, talking to parents, eating and praying.
Campus Nurse Andreea Baker said some of these strategies are unhealthy. She identified eating too much, sleeping too much, drinking alcohol, smoking, and spending too much money as unhealthy ways to manage stress.
Instead, Baker suggests students exercise, journal, knit, cook or bake, read, attend Bible study, and talk with others about their stress. She also said students should take breaks from studying for midterms.
“I would suggest that students who study for long periods of time (should) set a time limit for how long they are studying and then take a break. Again, setting a timer or picking a certain amount of time that they want to take a break and then go back to studying. Students need to take time out of every day to do things they enjoy doing,” Baker said.
Several professionals and websites offer other tips for avoiding stress while studying. Students can take breaks from studying and get active by taking a walk. Others emphasize the importance of getting enough sleep before and during midterms. Getting rid of distractions, setting goals or making lists, and thinking positively are also recurring suggestions.
Students who feel overwhelmed by midterms are encouraged to see Counselor Cara Kroeker in the Counseling and Behavioral Health Center.