There are two pivotal weeks in the semester where it's crunch time and everyone is stressed out: finals week and midterms. Midterms are not necessarily as stressful as finals since professors will spread exams and assignments out according to their own syllabus instead of following the semester schedule set by the university. However, they come with their own downsides and still cause stress and anxiety in students.
For example, finals week has its own week for students to take exams in blocks of two hours. My midterm for my history class, which is on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, however, only has one class period to take an exam on a half semester's worth of content.
That is over 50% less than the time allotted for final exams — based on the same amount of content. Since the final and midterm exams are weighted the same regarding the grade, there is an added pressure to get the best grade possible, on top of the pressure of possibly not having enough time to answer all questions.
This class is outside of my major and I'm taking it to fulfill a university requirement. I feel like a fish out of water since it's a whole other subject to analyze and pick apart. I have to learn how to analyze information in a different way than how I am used to in my communications courses and social science courses.
All these concerns — feeling displaced, worrying about memorizing content in time for the exam, and being concerned about having enough time to finish the exam without going over the time limit — only offer additional stress to an already stressful time.
The point being is that these fears surrounding my history midterm have only exacerbated my day to day anxiety, making me feel like a raw nerve, at times. In some cases of doing homework, I would have a really hard time with thought blocking and writer's block and would put off tasks by taking care of much smaller, more monotonous chores and tasks, to feel productive though I was just procrastinating.
I know that once my midterms are over and I'm on spring break, I will be relaxed and calm, and will have a significant decrease in my overall anxiety. I will get a bit of a break but the closer I get to graduation, the more pressure I will feel to complete all the work that I technically don't even have to think about for several weeks.
Since nerves are at an all-time high during midterm season, I think students try to do more self-care to calm them, even without realizing it.
The reality is, we need to be mindful of our mental health always. That way we can do what we need to do to take care of ourselves each and every day, so that we can move forward and accomplish our goals, without any barriers getting in our way.