Do midterms have you stressed? Read below for tips to reduce stress!


Samantha Snyder

A visual depiction of mental health.

As students get further into the semester and workloads start to increase, many students experience some stress. With midterms only a few weeks away, many students are starting to feel overwhelmed. Lisa Witzberger, the director of counseling services, says that more students schedule counseling sessions either before or during midterm week since many students start to feel overwhelmed.

It’s normal for students to feel stressed out during this time of year, but they can take measures to reduce stress and improve their mental health. Witzberger says students should have a plan in case they experience mental health distress. “Talking about mental health is important even if you don’t experience mental health distress because a friend may need help, ” Witzberger said. Students should feel comfortable talking about their mental health with someone else, whether that person is a close friend, family member or counselor. Witzberger recommends being involved with campus activities, events and clubs to build connections with other people. Even if you are not experiencing a lot of stress at the moment, someone you know probably is. It’s important to check in on your friends and family members and let them know that they can talk to you if they are experiencing stress or anxiety.

Susan Ridley, assistant professor of creative arts therapy, says that you should try to determine what is causing you stress and step away from it for a little while. It’s important to take breaks by doing hobbies or other relaxing activities to relieve stress and anxiety.

Witzberger says that you have to take care of your physical health in order to improve your mental health. She recommends getting at least 6 to 8 hours of sleep most nights of the week, mindful eating to include healthy foods in your diet, drinking plenty of water and exercising regularly.

One major way to reduce stress is to improve your time management skills. “If you feel stressed out because of school, try out different time management strategies. You should also plan for time to relax or do something nice for yourself,” Witzberger said. Developing time management skills will help you make your classes and schoolwork seem more doable. Keeping a planner and starting assignments earlier will help you feel less stressed. Procrastination causes stress for many college students. Ridley also recommends focusing on one project at a time. She says that when students try to multitask, they end up getting distracted and overwhelmed by the amount of work they are trying to complete at once. Students can also break down large assignments into smaller, more manageable tasks.

Counseling services at West Liberty University are always free and confidential. Students can schedule a counseling appointment through their WINS account by going to student services and clicking on “request a counseling session”. Walk-ins are also accepted depending on the counselor’s availability. Students can attend counseling sessions either in person or through Zoom. Counseling is usually available every day from 8:00 am to 6:00 pm in room S14 on the second floor of the Student Union. Either Witzberger or Ridley will conduct these appointments. Students can find mental health resources and learn more about WLU’s counseling sessions by going to the counseling services page on West Liberty University’s website.