Blog of the Peer Advising Leadership Program, College of Natural Resources, UC Berkeley

October 6, 2006 9:18 AM

Dealing With Stress

Now that the first wave of midterms has rolled by, you've all experienced the phenomenon of stress at Cal. This past week has been especially brutal for some, with multiple exams and papers to write. It's times like these where being able to handle stress and pressure are crucial, as it does affect your performance in your classes. Since you've been through this first "exam season," you'll have a better idea of what to expect when midterm #2 comes around. Here are some pointers to keep in mind:

Plan ahead. Professors and tutors always tell us to not fall behind on the material. Seems like advice that's easy to follow, but even the most organized students have trouble keeping up. This is partly due to the fact that we simply don't feel an urge to study until the exam date is just a few days away, and as luck would have it, exams tend to be clustered together at around the same time. So look up the dates for your second midterms NOW and figure out how many weeks you have until then. And plan out a reading and study schedule based on the syllabi you have for each class. Keep in mind weekends or days that you'll be participating in activities(e.g. Cal vs. Stanford game or weekend trip to Tahoe) and plan around. You don't have to follow this schedule religiously, but try your best not to fall behind. If you study early, "midterm season" won't seem as bad, as you have already learned much of the material during the semester.

Make sure you have fun, but plan accordingly. As you may have heard too many times before, thiis college, and you're supposed to enjoy it. Leave room in your schedule for 'chilling out,' whether that means exercising, hanging out in SF with friends, or hitting up a party. But...party in moderation. Use it to destress after a series of exams and papers, but don't let your desire to have fun consume your life.

Be active at Cal, but study as well. While it's definitely essential that you become involved on campus, don't let activities overpower your studying. As any college advisor would tell you, it's better to be actively involved in two or three organizations rather than somewhat involved in five or six. Also keep in mind that activities can take up study time, free time, and energy. Pick and choose activities wisely, and get involved in those that'll you'll love to be in and help you achieve your career goals.

Hope some of this twosense helps. Feel free to drop by any of our office hours in 260 Mulford to chat it up.


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