Post by Matt Barrett
Graduate Assistant for Communications
Photography courtesy of the UNCG Image Collection
So midterms are upon us. How do I know? Yesterday I walked into one of my classes and a professor said, “Have you gotten your anti-depressants yet?” I took a glance at my syllabus and saw that my first paper is due in a couple weeks. But rather than succumbing to stress, I have a few suggestions for you (and myself) which might help us cope with the seemingly endless papers and tests. Not all of these suggestions will apply to everyone, but I’ve compiled a list, which could be beneficial for those of us who suddenly have mountains of work.
1. Take some time to exercise. The campus fitness center is a great way to take your mind off classes and substitute stress with endorphins. And if you need some motivation, try one of the group exercise classes for free. You read it right: free. The fitness center holds several classes in the Indoor Cycling room, the Rosenthal Pool, and the Fitness Studio. All classes are open to UNCG students, and sign-up is typically first come, first serve. If you’re looking to relax your mind, consider the yoga classes. If your goal is to blow off steam, try the cycling or aqua sessions. For a complete list of group exercise classes, take a look at the website, and grab a clean pair of athletic shorts: http://campusrec.uncg.edu/fitness/group-exercise/.
2. Go for a hike. Do you know that Greensboro has over forty-two miles of hiking trails? Now you do. It’s always good to get some fresh air, especially when your books are dusty and your desk is cluttered. I’d suggest trying Nat Greene, “one of the oldest and most popular of the City’s watershed trails” which has access to the marina. Bicycling is not allowed, so if you’re looking for a peaceful, undisturbed stroll, you might even go the whole 3.6 miles. If you want more information on hiking, or a full list of Greensboro’s trails, you can find it here: http://www.greensboro-nc.gov/index.aspx?page=1372.
3. Grab a bite in town. Or drink a beer, but I’m not sure if I can say that up front. Speaking of the Nat Greene hiking trail, my favorite Greensboro restaurant is Natty Greene’s, a local brewery. If you’re looking for a delicious meal and a good drink, then check them out. Their Thursday beer special is two dollars for any pint, any time of day. So if you’re feeling stressed, why not head there? But if you don’t feel like walking that far, you can practically crawl to Old Town Draught House, a little bar about fifty feet from the Humanities building. Both places offer cheap meals, so if your wallet’s feeling a little empty; I just planned your next night out.
4. Find a good seat on campus. Sometimes I forget how beautiful our school is, and I bet you do too, during the more stressful times of year. Beside the Elliot Center, there’s a fountain with about a dozen tables around it. I passed by it the other night and listened to the sound of flowing water. I wanted to take a seat, but my class was in a few minutes—and I knew if I sat down, I’d fall asleep. It’s a truly relaxing place to study or take a snooze, whichever you prefer. And for those who haven’t lost their inner child, try the nearby swing set. I pass it each time I leave the Elliot Center, and I’m tempted every day to go for a swing. So if you’re feeling stressed and not too bashful, make sure you spend an afternoon there.
5. Get a massage. Even as I write the word “massage,” I want a massage. So if you have a couple bucks to spend, check out the Student Health Center, where massages are only $30 for half an hour, and $45 for an hour. Or if you’re feeling particularly daring, head to the health center on September 30th or October 7th, between 9:00am and noon, for an acupuncture clinic. According to the UNCG website, “Acupuncture has been proven to be a very effective treatment for anxiety and feelings of stress, no matter what the cause.” And what better time for anxiety treatment than midterm season? For more information and how to schedule an appointment, take a look at the website: http://shs.uncg.edu/wellness/massage.
Essentially, what I’m recommending is that you take some time for yourself, even when the work seems endless. Your midterms will end—they always do—and then you’ll move onto the next task. So it’s important to enjoy this time as much as any other. I wish you the best of luck, and relax!