University provides services for midterms stress

As one of the most demanding times of the semester, midterms can cause students anxiety. However, Fresno State offers a variety of services available to those stressed as pressures mount.

Students can go to the Student Health Center for counseling services as well as seek tutoring depending on their curriculum from the Learning Center, located in the basement of the Henry Madden Library.

“We see a steady stream of students here at the counseling center,” said Dr. Leslie Weiser, a staff psychologist at the Student Health Center. “Typically we reach our highest volume starting in mid-October, and service requests remain high through the end of the semester.”

“It does not seem that we have an increase in the number of students served because of midterms or finals. However, students who seek services usually have other ongoing issues and feel more stressed at exam time.”

There are a number of ways to combat any additional stress caused by midterms, Weiser said, such as scheduling appropriate study time.

“If possible, let people know you have exams, and that you will go back to your usual routine when midterms are completed,” she said. “Use a planner. If you can, break large tasks down into small achievable parts. Create a task list for each day and cross off items as they are completed.”

Weiser also recommended taking study breaks and using them to relax.

“In addition, use stress management techniques such as diaphragmatic behavior which include deep breathing, meditation and mindfulness,” Weiser said. “Exercise for a period of time, going for a brisk walk or run or working out at your local gym.

“Lastly, take short study breaks by doing activities such as listening to music, reading or watching anything funny that can generate positive thoughts and laughter, or be around supportive members of your inner circle such as your family or friends. Get enough sleep. Eat right consisting of a proper balanced diet and also avoid ingesting sugar, alcohol and caffeine.”

Ruby Sangha, an adviser in the Learning Center, said since Spring ‘14 there have been 983 students enlisted for tutoring sessions and 3,356 total visits.

“While it varies per semester, in general Tutoring and Supplemental Instruction (SI) has seen subjects such as physics, chemistry and biology extremely popular not only during midterms, but also throughout the course of the semester.”

Valerie Moreno, a sophomore majoring in animal science, has her own methods for maintaining a healthy state of mind.

“I plan to get plenty of rests and avoid cramming,” Moreno said. “Personally, I believe cramming is the worst thing you could do, since it causes more stress, when, instead, you could just gradually study.”

Sabrina Arsala, a senior majoring in business, says she plans to take a different approach to stave off midterm madness.

“I find it easier to retain information when I study right before I go to bed and also periodically throughout the entire day.”