Midterms a high cause of stress among students


Take a deep breath.

With midterm season in full stride, many students who are trying to keep up with studying are feeling the effects of stress.

Leslie Matuszewich, psychology professor, knows exactly why students feel this way.

“You feel like you have a lot of tasks to complete, and you don’t know exactly how you’re going to deal with all of those tasks,” Matuszewich said. “We label that as being stressed out.”

Fermin Reyes, junior meteorology major, considers himself one of those students.

“I had three exams last week, and I started studying a week in advance, but it was still stressful,” Reyes said. “I ended up doing pretty well, but I’m just glad it’s over.”

Matuszewich said it is acute stress that affects students during an exam. A fast heartbeat and sweaty palms come test time is usually a sign that a student is dealing with acute stress Matuszewich said.

David Valentiner, psychology professor, said anxiety and stress can get students into trouble but

also motivate students to perform better.

“The obvious [factor] is that the person thinks they’re going to fail or not live up to what they set out as their own standards,” Valentiner said. “You don’t want to have too much anxiety, but you also don’t want to have too little anxiety because anxiety is eventually part of what is motivating people to get work done.”

Valentiner stresses students dealing with anxiety over exams should realize that one assignment doesn’t define their “self worth” but is rather just a single assignment.

“We try to get people to realize that performing in school is important,” Valentiner said. “But its importance doesn’t override the importance of other things such as the fact that hopefully you’re healthy, you’ve got friends and family and other things in life that make life rewarding and enjoyable.”