Stress and the Second Half: How to Cope with a Busy Semester

It’s getting close to that time of the semester where everything seems a little more (if not a lot more) hectic that it was a few weeks ago. It feels like you have no time for anything right? Assignments are due, group projects, midterms and finals (of course) looming promisingly in the background.

These are some of the tips and tricks that I use to help me get through the second half of the semester.


If you ask anyone who knows me, I love food. Food is life, but, because it’s that time of the semester where I get super busy, I always turn to meal prepping. You don’t have to prep meals for the whole week or make all your meals for the day at the same time if you don’t want to. Having food ready to go for the next two or three days really helps and may give you more time to study, hit the gym or do other things.

Remember, your meals can also be fun and not just noodles. Oh, and don’t forget to drink water!


It’s crunch time and sleep becomes less important day by day as we get closer to the final exam period. I found that when I don’t get enough sleep at night (6 to 8 hours), I feel low and have a lower attention span. When I do get enough sleep, well, I focus a lot more, get more things done during the day and feel happier.

Have some “me time”

Make some time to do something that does not involve coursework. You could go to the gym, take a walk, watch Netflix, or find a nice spot around the city or at home to hang out with your friends… You know, just take time to chill out.

Stay organized

Everyone has their own way of organizing things. For me, it’s colour coding everything, having lists/the calendar on my phone and sticky notes. For you, it may be different. It’s easy to have a clean study area one minute and the next, turn it upside down with notes, random pieces of paper and pizza boxes. One way to help you stay organized is to declutter and have a study space that has minimal distractions. This can help you save time looking for loose papers and charts, reduce (or hopefully completely get rid of) procrastination, and keep your roommate and yourself happy. You could also have soft music playing in the background to help make your study space more comfortable.

Happy thoughts

Stress levels are high, papers are due and not everything may be going your way. Staying positive is hard when you have a lot on your plate. I find it important to say positive things towards people, yourself; listen to music that lifts your mood, or do something that I actually like during my time to myself. Remember that you are your biggest fan. Give yourself credit or a pat on your back whenever you have done something awesome. Try to see the glass as half full.

I hope some of these work out for you. What are some of your tips and tricks of coping in the second half of the semester/dealing with stress?