Coping with midterm stress

Midterms are here, and with them comes the student stress. Students are faced with multiple tests that they are expected to study for all at once. This stress, however, could be too much for students to handle.

According to a study from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, when students get stressed from poor grades, their cortisol levels spike, which causes difficulty for some moving forward.

Stress can have a negative impact on student health. “Your body is hard-wired to react to stress in ways meant to protect you against threats from predators and other aggressors,” according to an article by the Mayo Clinic. The article continued by stating that “such threats are rare today, but that doesn’t mean that life is free of stress.” Long-term stress can result in multiple health concerns, including anxiety, depression, digestive problems, headaches, heart disease, sleep problems, weight gain and memory and concentration impairment.

According to the American Test Anxieties Association, schoolwork and exams are reported as being the most stressful thing in a student’s life. The reactions to these stressors are also important. According to the Mayo Clinic, reactions to stress are determined by genetics and life experiences. Genetics can prime the body for flight or fight reactions, while life experiences such as traumatic events can make people more prone to stress.

What is there to do about this stress? Frankly, not much. When a student signs up for a class, they are willingly open to taking a midterm. The piling up of multiple tests can be stressful and this stress is a result of students signing up for more classes than they could handle in the first place.

However, if a student is struggling with midterm stress, there are many ways to cope.

According to the Mayo Clinic, there are many healthy ways to respond to stress. Some ways to manage stress include eating a healthy diet, getting regular exercise and plenty of sleep, practicing relaxation techniques such as trying yoga, deep breathing, getting a massage or learning to meditate and taking time for hobbies, such as reading a book or listening to music.

According to Study Guides and Strategies, there are many ways to overcome test anxiety as well, and one of the most effective is studying properly. Using proper time management and making sure you are properly prepared is the best way to overcome test anxiety. Other ways to overcome test anxiety include practicing relaxation and breathing techniques, using positive reinforcement and to expect some form of minor test anxiety.

Midterm stress is something that is unfortunately unavoidable, but there are many ways to cope with it. As long as students realize they are in control, test anxiety and midterm stress become much more manageable.