With the semester in its sixth week of classes, midterms are beginning at UConn and students are starting to feel the stress.
Whether it is an essay, a project or an exam, students have found it hard to balance putting effort into each class, especially when they have anywhere between one to six classes to focus on.
Mikha Shrestha, a fourth-semester cognitive science major with a minor in chemistry, is currently enrolled in five classes and will be having a midterm exams for each at the beginning of March.
“My exams are pretty much all over the course of the next two weeks. I do think it is a lot at once, but part of me doesn’t want to blame the professors, I think it’s just my workload. I definitely do feel stressed, but a lot of my professors have given me ample time to prepare so it’s not on them,” Shrestha said via phone call.
To help relieve this stress, the university and the many clubs and organizations it houses have put programs in place for students to participate in. One such organization is Hillel. On Wednesday, Feb. 23, Hillel organized a “HillelWell Fair,” where students were able to stop by the Hillel building throughout the day and participate in many de-stressing activities that focused on mental health during these busy weeks.
“We’re really excited. We’re having a few different stations that are all focused on wellness and that enables students to be able to bring some stuff home to continue focusing on their wellness. With midterms, people aren’t focusing on themselves and prioritizing their own mental health. It’s something that I can say I definitely have struggled with and I would say that most students who are helping to run this have experienced in some shape or form,” Hillel Vice President and fourth-semester human development and family sciences major Jessica Baden said.
Hillel had a plethora of different activities for students, ranging from candle making with specific stress-relieving essential oils, to canvas painting, to petting UConn Police dog Officer Tildy, to help ease midterm stressors.
“We’re students, part of what we love about our organization is that it is student-run, so we feel it as much as any other one does because we’re right in there,” Baden said.
Let’s Get Together Thursday, a program hosted by Johnathan’s Challenge is hosting a “15 Minutes to Calm” on Thursday, Feb. 24 as an outlet for anxiety. Other groups, like UConn’s Greek Life, have also been reliable sources of help according to Caden Ondeck, a fourth-semester undecided major.
“My fraternity, we all help each other during exams. We make our own study groups and they definitely help me with my stress,” Ondeck said.
Ondeck also explained he will be meeting with his advisor to put him in touch with resources on campus that help students to prioritize tasks and assignments, as well as to manage time and stress/
Other students, however, have independently found personal decompression outlets for during a heightened stress period.
“For me personally, it’s about taking time to destress. I have a rule where on the day of I don’t do any more studying. So to me, alleviating that stress the day of, or trying to do something fun the day prior after I know I’ve studied as much as I can helps to take my mind off of it,” Derby Egyin, a sixth-semester sociology and human rights major and women and gender studies and Africana studies minor said.
Egyin explained how going to the Rec Center or taking part in a group fitness class not only during midterms but throughout the semester in general has been a big help in letting go of the pressure of classes and school work.
“Me specifically, my biggest stress reliever would be to go play tennis. In terms of what UConn does, the Rec Center and classes they offer is very stress relieving. That’s something I access during midterms and throughout the semester in general to help relieve some stress,” Egyin said.