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5 Tips to Stay Sane during Midterms

If you’re feeling like your life is falling apart at the seams without any apparent hopes of salvaging it, you’re probably in midterm season.

I had 2 papers due this week, one for each of my English classes, and an exam for one of my psychology classes. My last of my four midterms is in a few weeks. I’m done with both papers, am prepared for my exam today, and am thoroughly freaking out about the one coming up. So, here are a few tips about staying sane during midterms:

1. Make a list.

Being able to break down and quantify the tasks you need to do is a great way to feel accomplished and provide some peace of mind as you move through midterms.

2. Use the Pomodoro timer method.

Saying that you’re going to finish studying for one exam, or writing one paper, all at once is a nice idea, but it’s not realistic at all. It’s also not the most productive way to work. People work best in 25 minute spurts with 5 minutes in between, and then after the 4th 25 minute period, the break is expanded to 15 minutes. This is called the Pomodoro method, and it’s a life saver. You can find many of these timers in apps for phones, computers, and websites.

3. Actually relax during your breaks. 

I used to use my “breaks” from one thing to switch to another task, but that doesn’t allow my mind to take a breather and I feel even more tired when I work through my breaks. Listen to music, read from a novel, watch one Youtube video. Whatever it is, give your thinking brain a break when it’s time. You’ll be better off for it.

4. Go to sleep at reasonable times. 

It may sound smart to pull all-nighters studying, but being exhausted actually hurts your chances of retaining and remembering information—and that’s the whole point of studying. It’s much better to keep a consistent sleep schedule so you can focus and do your best preparation for whatever papers/exams you have.

5. Maintain a healthy diet.

When you feel pressed for time, eating sometimes falls by the wayside when you think you have enough energy to keep working through mealtimes. But don’t do it. Your body needs energy for your mind to have energy, so don’t cheat your body of its fuel.


Self-published author, avid reader, book reviewer, musical theatre enthusiast, Sherlockian, Special Agent (NCIS fandom), amateur singer, and animal lover (especially dogs).
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