by Lea Katrina Canizares | October 22, 2022
The dreaded phrase, “Midterm Exams”, is one that college students are all too familiar with. Midterm season is here, and it is by far one of the most stressful experiences a college student undergoes. With assignments and tasks piling up, as well as revisions for upcoming lengthy exams, students may find themselves in nerve-wracking and mentally-draining situations.
Every second week of October, National Mental Health Week is being celebrated in the Philippines to promote the importance of mental health and well-being. It is a great reminder for students to take into account and look after their mental well-being as they navigate through the midterm season. That is why finding ways to manage one’s mental health as the week gets underway is key to surviving the Midterms season.
Halfway through the term, students try to stay afloat as they prepare and condition themselves to face midterms week. Many dread this period and get anxious just at the thought of it. This stressful stage in the semester brings a whole multitude of assignments, projects, exams, and events that occur at various dates and times.
With the shift from distance learning to face-to-face classes, Alyssa Glorydale Algo shared, “Midterms exams are nerve-wracking for me because, after two years of online distance learning, we are finally conducting it in person. The change of setting is something we need to adjust to”.
As a new student in the university, Kate Julianne Bacang expressed that while she is in the midst of adjustment, she still aims to ace her exams. “It gets overwhelming at times, especially when bombarded with lessons to study and tasks to complete, pero kayanon gihapon [but I’ll still push through]“, she said.
This time in the semester is without a doubt, challenging. Studying, preparing, and doing revisions are definitely things that students must allocate a big portion of their time to. However, going overboard and neglecting one’s mental well-being can do more harm than good. Self-care and looking after our mental health should not simply be disregarded nor overlooked.
Although passing and getting good grades are among the main goals that most students set, putting mental health first can help them ensure that these goals can be achieved. Though it may seem like staying up late to study and skipping meals to save time will produce the finest outcomes, this is not always the case.
Students often find themselves caught up worrying about exams, papers, and assigned work—and these are normal feelings and experiences students have. The problem is that it is easy for many students to neglect their own mental health in an effort to keep up with ‘the grind’, which can unfortunately lead to burnout.
Excessive cups of coffee, anxiety episodes prior to tests, prominent eye bags, and an abundance of stress-related memes are things college students know all too well. A lot of people have come to glorify “hustle culture” and collectively consider being ‘stressed out’ as a badge of honor. Ultimately, this becomes mentally, emotionally, and physically taxing and outright counterproductive.
Although “the grind should never stop” sounds great in theory, it is unrealistic in practice. These kinds of statements, which are intended to motivate someone to keep ‘hustling’ nonstop without genuinely paying attention to life, are downright detrimental.
Stress is a double-edged sword. It can be both good and bad. However, it is a perfectly normal response in many circumstances of student life. With rigorous demands, high expectations, and the lack of support and consideration, these can all take a toll on a student’s mental health. Not everyone is on the same boat, and it is important to acknowledge that everyone’s feelings are all equally valid. As students face midterm week, it is integral that they also prioritize their mental health by integrating even small- scale self-care practices and face whatever hurdles they encounter along the way with their head held high.