Here’s how to manage end-of-semester stress


Post-Thanksgiving Break is perhaps the hardest time of the year for us college students. Morale is low, stress is high, and everything is due all at once. If you’re like me, you handle end-of-semester stress by binge-sleeping instead of actually confronting the problem. Unfortunately, Zs don’t get degrees. Instead, here are a few more productive ways to get you to the end.

Time Management

Google “end of semester stress,” and this will probably be the first thing on every listicle that pops up. And it’s gonna be the first one on this one too. If you haven’t done so already, it’s time for you to micro-manage your schedule for the rest of the semester. What needs to be done, and when are the due dates and is there any video conferencing that could help? Look at your calendar for the next two weeks and set aside chunks of time solely to work on papers and projects or to study. For overachievers, go a step further and plan where you will do this work. Choose a place that is the best place for you to be productive, whether that’s in your dorm room, the library, or a cafe off-campus.

Ask for Support

You don’t have to manage your stress alone, whether you ask for support from your family, your friends, or even a counselor. If you need to vent about how much you have to do and how you don’t have any time to do it (before you do the previous point, or course), go to someone. If need be, explain to your friends that you really need to focus on completing your work or studying and can’t hang out as much. If the amount of stress starts triggering depression or anxiety, speak with a counselor or your RA.

Don’t Be Afraid to Seek Help

There are several different ways to get help on any topics you’re struggling with. Go to the Writing Center, where they can help you not just with papers but also presentations; go to your professors, who know exactly what you need to know on finals exams; go to tutoring, and get even more help from your fellow classmates. Just because it’s the end of the semester doesn’t mean you can’t start utilizing these resources now if you haven’t done so earlier.

Get Enough Sleep

Please get quality sleep. I cannot stress this enough (pun 100% intended). You will not survive the semester living in a body propelled forward only by desperation and caffeine. Even if we don’t know why we need sleep, we do know that it is essential and beneficial for mind and body. If this is something you are struggling with, you may want to look into a company like Leesa, who offer high quality bedding items- from sheets, pillows, mattresses and more to help with getting you a comfortable night’s sleep. Sleep boosts cognitive function, and without it, learning is far more difficult. If you want to remember anything you’ve studied, SLEEP.

Take a Break

Yes, you are allowed to take a break. Whether that’s taking a nap (again, please don’t forget to sleep), going to the humane society to cuddle with animals, or attending Stress Fest events with friends, make time to take a break. Take time to do the things you love and relax for a few hours; smoking marijuana like this girl scout cookies strain will definitely give you a well-needed distraction for a couple of hours. If this isn’t for you, there’s an endless number of options to relax you as an alternative, such as taking a bath, reading a book or taking time to meditate. Unless you have incredible self-control, maybe don’t start that new series on Netflix. Sometimes, stress can be overwhelming and makes it difficult to focus on anything but how stressed you are. That’s why taking a break to put yourself in a better mood is perfectly acceptable, even if it means putting that work aside for a few hours. If it allows you to concentrate and get quality work done, then it’s worth it. It is also a good idea to try and think of how you’re going to reward yourself once you have finished this years studies. Some of my friends have used joining the Cultural Care Au Pair programme as a motivator. Knowing how much this meant to them they were even more determined to work as hard as they can so they could enjoy it as much as possible.

Life isn’t just a series of deadlines to meet and grades to maintain, although as college students, it certainly seems that way right now. You will get through this, one way or another – just don’t forget to take care of yourself along the way.

  • Campus Resources
    • The Writing Center, ACE (Library Basement)
      • In order to schedule a Writing Center appointment, you first need to register with WCOnline – Office hours are 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
    • On-Campus Counseling (located in the back suite of the Campus Center)
      • To schedule an appointment, email or call the Counseling Center at (859) 281-3682.
  • Off-Campus Resources
    • 24-hour Mental Health Crisis Line for Lexington, KY: 1-800-928-8000 (operated by Comprehensive Care)
    • Good Samaritan Hospital Emergency Services for Behavioral Health: 859-226-7060
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I'm a Computer Science and Music Technology double major. I am the current Commentary Editor for the Rambler. I am also very involved in the music department and in Greek life. I joined the Rambler to be more involved within the campus community at large and to make an impact. I'm the kind of person who wants to do All The Things when I grow up.