As Wake Forest students hit the one month mark in their classes, the term “Work Forest” proves its accuracy. With two papers due and three tests scheduled all in the span of 72 hours, stressed and sleep-deprived students fill the many floors of ZSR library.
How Wake Forest students manage their rigorous academics, participate in clubs and manage their social life (Wake Wednesday) can often seem like a mystery to the outside world. Follow these tips for a more relaxed mind during another stressful semester.
Take breaks. Though time seems to be ticking faster than usual, and you have yet to start memorizing the 175 words of Spanish vocabulary, breaks are not just important, but they are necessary. No one can possibly be productive for ten hours on end without any mental breaks.
Take a walk around the quad, chat over food with a friend, or even just check social media for 20 minutes. Not only will this relax your mind, it was also increase the quality of your studying — because no, blankly staring at a page in a textbook while daydreaming about that boy or girl you met in a fraternity basement does not count as productive studying.
Along with taking breaks, try hitting the gym when you have some spare time. If you are like any sane person, the thought of exercise probably makes you want to curl up into a ball and forget about calories. Though the gym can be intimidating (and let’s be honest, unpleasant), exercise can take your mind off your many responsibilities and reduce your stress. Even 30 minutes of cardio can do the trick, while also making you feel better about your decision to get late-night Zick’s, not once, but twice last weekend.
Along with personal well-being, one area that most Wake Forest students skimp on is sleep. Pulling an all-nighter can only lead to decreased mental and physical health. Contrary to popular belief, caffeine does not substitute for sleep. While coffee can be helpful on those days where getting out of bed feels impossible, it should not be used as an excuse to stay up all night. Drink your pumpkin spice latte because it tastes good and can cure your morning grogginess, not because you spent your night in the atrium desperately trying to cram a month’s worth of information into a few hours.
Finally, indulge yourself because life is too short to spend your week stressed and miserable from studying. While grades are important, they are not your reason for existence. If the Banshees show is always the highlight of your semester, take a break and go. If chocolate can make you happy in a time of difficulty, go to the Pod and buy yourself some candy. If all your friends are having a wine and movie night, stop by for a few minutes to take your mind off the real world. Don’t let your stress take over your happiness.
While managing stress can be easier said than done, follow these tips for a better mind and body. Work Forest lives up to its name this time of year so knowing how to handle stress can be essential. Take breaks, exercise, sleep and indulge yourself for a better semester and less gray hairs in your future. College is a short four years, so don’t let stress define them.