Surviving Midterms the Healthy Way

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Stress is what every college student feels almost constantly. Add in a global pandemic, a national racial reckoning and a high-stakes election – everyone has just about been pushed to their maximum amount of strain. Yet, one more item has been added to students’ plates: midterms.

To survive midterms, there are multiple tips and tricks. There are numerous ways to study and to keep up with big tests and essays but below are three universal tips that every student should adhere to. These pointers go beyond the creation of study schedules and flashcards to make sure that students stay healthy while preparing for big assignments.

 

#1) Drink water.

Medical News Today, a legitimate medical news source, published the article “Fifteen benefits of drinking water.” The article shows that almost every crucial bodily function needs water to operate, such as joint lubrication, oxygen delivery throughout the body, brain cushioning, etc. Since students will be using their brains a LOT during midterms, it makes sense to give them the nice, cushy pillow of water that they need to function.

#2) Remember to sleep.

Another article by Medical News Today, titled “Why sleep is essential for health,” outlines why everyone needs sleep. The most important reason the article provides is that “sleep has links to several brain functions, including: concentration, productivity, cognition… sleep patterns can have a direct impact on their behavior and academic performance.” For the big tests and projects that are associated with midterms, it is crucial that to be well-rested; that means viewing sleep as a necessity, not a luxury.

#3) Put away the phone.

This might seem obvious since being on the phone distracts one from studying but the health implications go deeper. An article published by UCHealth Today, “The hidden stress of cell phones,” illuminates the huge health problems associated with cell phone use. Victoria Strohmeyer, a psychotherapist with UCHealth Yampa Valley Medical Center, states that “[w]hen you check your phone or hear an alert, you activate your sympathetic nervous system – the part of your body that’s always scanning the environment. It gives you a little shot of adrenaline for every interaction.” Strohmeyer goes on to say that it takes 30 minutes for the body to get back to normal after hearing an alert. The article then says, “[a]ll that stress wreaks havoc on the body and mind, causing or contributing to a range of diseases, from heart disease and depression to sleep deprivation and chronic fatigue.” Putting the phone away and turning off notifications will allow students to give the study material their full attention, and it will give one’s body relief from having to try to regulate unnecessary adrenaline rushes.

 

Midterms are never easy. Each student is under an unimaginable amount of stress this year, and most of it is coming from sources that are out of one’s control. What is in a student’s control is how he or she will react to the stress, and these tips should help with surviving this stressful time.