Don’t Stress for Your Exams

Demarie DelVecchio, Carly Lane and Lydia D’Amato get some work done in the Coginchaug library. Photo by Robert Griffin

 After the holidays are done and the new year has begun, everything isn’t as holly jolly as it was before. Midterm exams creep up in only a few weeks, and Coginchaug senior Julia Filiault said, “It does feel overwhelming at the moment.” It is as important to remember to take care of yourself as it is to do your best on your exams.

  According to Ann Pietrangelo and Stephanie Watson, health care authors from, the side effects of stress are headaches, increased depression, high blood pressure, stomach aches, heartburn and more.

 “Stress hormones trigger your body’s ‘fight or flight’ response,” they said. “When the stress response keeps firing, day after day, it could put your health at serious risk.”

 One way to decrease your stress levels is through relaxation practices like yoga or meditation. The University of New Hampshire describes relaxation on their health and wellness portion of their site as “the body’s antidote for the stress response.”

 “I’m thinking about midterms, what I have to do for school, work… then I have to go to the gym,” says senior Julia Filiault.

 Many students expressed stressing over time management when there is so much to do in such little time. Former Devil’s Advocate writer Ava Altschuler features an article on stress management for Coginchaug students.


 But for many people, it is not that easy, and they have dealt with stress related issues or issues that are much harder to recover from. People who deal with stress a lot or for a long period of time can get chronic muscle tension, which is associated with some migraine headaches, according to the American Psychological Association. After a long enough period of time, muscles would atrophy, and your heart rate and contractions would both increase, leading to an increased risk of heart attack.

 Charlotte Planeta, Camryn Thayer, Sarah Locascio and Mattina Benedetto work on a group project. Photo by Robert Griffin

The worst part about studying while stressed is that it is not good for your brain. Melissa Cohen, a clinical social worker and therapist in New York, said that stress can make it harder to focus and reduce your ability to remember things. Authors at Researchgate said it also deeply affects people that live with anxiety because stress can disrupt that and cause cognitive impairment. The Anxiety and Depression Association of America’s website lists tips here for people with anxiety on how to manage stress properly.

 Coginchaug students listed studying tips like making flashcards, doing Quizlet, doing the review packets and reviewing notes. Senior Jamie Breton said, “Sometimes when you’re in class, you write notes really fast to keep up, and they can end up being really messy. It always helps me to rewrite my notes.”

 “Study as much as you can,” said Cohen. “One of the causes of test anxiety is the fear that you didn’t study enough. By studying as much as you can, you can reduce this fear.

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