I’m Daniella Snyder, a second-year graduate student at Villanova University, and your ‘Cat in Falvey Library’s Stacks. I’ll be posting about academics– from books, to research, to study habits and everything in between– and how the Falvey Library can play a large role in your success here on campus!
This week, the energy in the Library has changed. Students are here earlier, stay later, and look tired. It’s inevitable that the week leading up to fall break (and the week following) comes with immense amounts of stress about midterms, papers, and projects.
Falvey believes that your mental health becomes increasingly more important during these few weeks. Follow our advice for coping with stress to make your midterms a little more manageable.
- Plan, plan, plan. Research has made it clear that stress can be managed through planning. Make daily and weekly to-do lists, set reminders on your phone, or use a handy paper planner. Personally, I make every large assignment due date as the first “event” in my Outlook calendar, so when I wake up in the morning and look at my schedule, I know exactly what’s due that day.
- Meditate. It’s obvious that meditation has incredible health benefits including clarity of mind, reduced anxiety, and minimal stress. Can’t sit still that long by yourself? Use the app Headspace (free to download!) to guide you through 5, 10, and 15-minute meditation sessions.
- OHIO. No, not the state. It stands for “Only handle it once.” Don’t think it’s a big deal if you let that email sit for a few days? Wrong. Having a million tasks– even if they’re small– is like having a million mental tabs open. If you remember that you haven’t spoken to your family in 2 weeks, don’t put it on the ever-expanding to-do list. Only handle it once…meaning, just do it immediately. Keeping a short list of things to do will reduce your stress in the long run.
- Positive affirmations. Instead of just checking things off a to-do list, people can often find it beneficial to write an “I’ve Done” list. Write a list of things you accomplished that day, along with things you did really well. Even if it’s a small task (like taking out the garbage) reminding yourself of your accomplishments can have seriously positive effects!
- Spend time with friends. Isolating yourself is guaranteed to amplify all negative and stressful emotions you have during exams week. Eat with people, study with people, get coffee with people. Do not (I repeat: do NOT) lock yourself up in your room or apartment alone. You need your people, especially when things get tough.
- Sleep, eat, and shower. While this seems obvious, students often fail to prioritize basic human necessities during stressful academic weeks. Please…take care of yourself. Sleep 7-8 hours a night, drink your water, eat food, and shower. Your body and mind will thank you when this is all over.
- Seek counseling. If you feel like college always makes your midterm-level stressed, you might want to consider talking to a professional about more effective and long-term ways to manage stress or anxiety. Visit the Counseling Center’s website here.
Happy studying Wildcats, and good luck!