I distinctly remember how worn out I was at the end of the first term of the MQM program. Seemingly endless assignments, team meetings, and presentations all contributed. I was terrified that if I didn’t take the right steps to manage the stress, I would be burnt out before I realized it.

Business school can get stressful at times, especially when it’s an extremely fast-paced 10-month program like MQM. As rewarding as it is to receive a degree from one of the best business schools in the world, it is vital that you do so with your mental and emotional health intact. Here are five ways I managed stress during business school.

1. Speaking With a Counselor

Duke students have access to Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS). I regularly scheduled therapy sessions with a counselor who helped me come up with an action plan to manage days that felt overwhelming.

2. Duke Arts Workshops

Carving out time to attend art workshops offered by Duke Arts helped me have a creative outlet. The art workshops last about 1 to 1.5 hours. It is a great activity to do either by yourself or with your friends after a demanding day of classes.

3. Duke Groups Events

Duke Groups is a place to find all the activities that are happening around campus every day. From movie screenings to mixers and volunteering events, students can find any activity that they enjoy, helping them unwind after a busy day of classes.

dozens of students around tables in the gym packing meals
Volunteering at a meal packing event alongside the organization Servants with a Heart, February 2022

4. Game Nights

Game nights are one of the most fun ways to blow off some steam after a hectic week. Students can borrow games from Fuqua’s Ford Library and organize game nights with a group of friends to make their Fuqua experience more memorable.

5. Walks Around Duke Gardens and the Duke Pond

It is a huge blessing for Duke students to have a beautiful garden and a pond just around the corner. I frequently visited the gardens to walk around and get in touch with nature to let my mind unwind.

The MQM program is tough at times and will push you past your limits. But with the right resources and the entire Fuqua community by your side cheering you on, you will come out the other side stronger.

sunset reflecting on the water
A relaxing evening walk by the Duke Reclamation Pond, March 2022