It feels like the semester just started, but midterms are already happening! This can be a stressful time for students as we have more homework and studying to do. Luckily, there are ways to feel more prepared as we near the middle of the semester and hopefully alleviate some stress. Here is a list of tips to help you survive midterms!
- Make a schedule
Write down all of your assignments, papers, and tests in advance so that you have clear deadlines laid out. You could also make a schedule for when you want to work on each subject, and that way you can divide your time up as you see fit.
- Figure out the best environment for your productivity to flow
Do you work better alone at home, or at a public place like the library? Sometimes it helps to study with friends, even if you’re working on different things, or you could form a study group with people from class. The place that you sit down to do work has a big impact on your motivation and productivity, so make sure to find an environment that feels comfortable for you. For example, when I’m at home, lighting a candle helps me to decompress.
- Practice time management while studying
Although it happens to the best of us, try not to burn yourself out by spending a long time on one subject. It is very easy to get caught up in work and to feel the need to finish everything at once, but at some point this becomes extremely draining. Allow yourself to switch between tasks, especially when one class feels overwhelming compared to the rest. In the long run, it is better to come back to your work with a clear head and calm outlook.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help
It can be difficult to reach out and ask for help, especially when you want the satisfaction of figuring things out on your own. If you have questions, reach out to your professor, TA, or try to book a tutoring appointment. All of these resources are available to make sure that we succeed, and it is a relieving feeling to finally have clarity on a topic that you are confused about. Don’t feel defeated if you need help, and view it as giving yourself the best opportunity to do well!
- Try to teach the concepts you’re studying to someone else, or write out information to make sure you know it
This especially helps when you are trying to memorize broad concepts. Breaking down ideas makes everything feel more manageable, and if you are able to explain them to another person that is a good way to gage your understanding. Another method is to make an outline or write down everything you remember about the topic, and then you can pinpoint the areas that you need to work on more.
- Schedule time away from studying to rest and relax
Although working and studying is the main part of midterms, the other half of the battle is taking extra time to care for yourself and lessen your stress. When there is so much going on at once, it is only natural to feel overwhelmed. If you take the steps to give yourself a true break (and get enough sleep), midterms will be much easier to get through. You deserve it after such hard work!
- Go outside on a walk, bike ride, to the park, or anywhere in nature
One of the best ways to recharge is to get outside and see the sun, especially after staying inside surrounded by books and your laptop all day.
- Listen to your favorite music that helps you concentrate and makes you feel confident
If you like to listen to music while studying, choose something that clears your mind. Lofi, ambient music, or classical are great choices. When you’re done with your work for the day, put on your favorite playlist and have a dance party (hype yourself up, you deserve it)!
- Have good study snacks or your favorite foods to look forward to
Take a break and have a snack that helps you focus. Some of my favorite choices are fruit, nuts, granola, or even a sweet treat.
- Stay positive, you got this!
This is probably the most important thing to remember going into midterms, and every day of school in general. You can do this!! It is normal to feel stressed and nervous during midterms, but remember how many times you have felt overwhelmed and overcame it. Be proud of yourself for showing up and trying your best, no matter what the outcome is! Whoever is reading this, you’re doing amazing. Good luck on midterms!