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Editorial Cartoon: Alabama and IVF
Editorial Cartoon: Alabama and IVF
Published March 1, 2024

Michaelson: Midterms & Mental Health.

With midterms quickly approaching, make sure you are taking care of yourself and checking in on your friends. You never know who may be struggling.
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Image by Mary Ellen Ritter

The first half of this semester has flown by, and we are already nearing the second most dreaded time of the year: midterm season. Midterms are never easy for anyone, and with the first round of in-person midterms since before the pandemic quickly approaching, who knows what we are in for. I don’t know about anyone else, but I am not prepared whatsoever, and on top of nervously watching deadlines get closer and closer, I have contracted the dreadful cold going around campus. So, not only do I have countless papers to write and exams to study for, but I also have had the energy completely sucked out of me due to this illness. This combination has definitely taken a toll on my mental health, and I am sure that I am not alone in feeling this way.

The transition back to in-person has not been the smoothest process for me, and one of my biggest fears has been taking a real, in-person exam. The idea of having to actually study and prepare for a closed-book, closed-note exam is, for some reason, mind-boggling. I threw my positive study habits out the window when the pandemic began and we transitioned to online classes, and they have remained dormant, until now. So here I am, scrambling to figure out a new system that works for me and combats my terrible pandemic-born study habits.

To combat my growing anxieties — and sickness — I have been taking measures to ensure that I am in the best physical and mental state to succeed, and here is how I am doing it. Firstly, I am ensuring that I am sleeping a solid 8 hours every night, because I know that without proper sleep, I will not be able to complete everything I need to do, and even if I do complete my work, it will not be good quality. With a full night’s sleep, I know that my brain will be attentive and prepared to get work done. Secondly, I am keeping distractions away. As I discussed last week, I deleted TikTok, and my productivity improved drastically. Without TikTok, I have nothing keeping me from getting my work done, and I have been completing my assignments twice as fast as usual. Lastly, I have been doing whatever I can to study with friends over coffee, so I am able to socialize productively and prevent myself from becoming lonely at a time when we are all struggling with a mutual problem.

I think during a time like this, reaching out to the people you are close with is extremely important, and in my experience, can improve your mental health drastically. For me, studying with my friends can go either way — it can be super productive, or it can be the most distracting thing in the world. For me, I tend to thrive in coffee shops, so I often camp out inside the nearest Caribou until my work is done. This satisfies my social needs (even if I am alone) and puts me in a productive environment that helps me get my work done. In order to survive midterms, find a system that works for you, and stick to it — but make sure that you are taking care of yourself and your needs.

While your priorities may be focused on school, do not neglect your other needs. Remember that it is okay to take breaks. Reach out to friends and family, or even to mental health providers as needed. This midterm season is bound to be a stressful experience for most, but remember that you are not alone. Take care of yourself, and nail these midterms. We’ve got this, Gophers!

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  • katie
    Oct 25, 2021 at 4:20 pm

    I will not be deleting TikTok, but good for u!