The Lalalaptop Phone Coffee

The 5 Stages of Studying for Midterms

Starting to study for your midterms? I just finished mine, and let me tell you, they were an experience. Sure, I had midterms and finals in high school, but not like this. After chatting with some of my other college friends, we have determined there were five main stages we all experienced.

  1. 1.  Stage 1: “I can do this!”

    We all know this feeling. Having all the colored pens and pastel highlighters lined up on your desk, a fully charged computer open, earbuds ready, mug of tea in hand. The false illusion of productivity and sense of arrogance is strong in this stage. I woke up early, put on a comfy — yet cute — outfit, and headed to the library to start my study sesh right — you know, typical college student activities. Once I actually begin studying, however, I quickly descend into stage 2.

  2. 2. Stage 2: “What was I thinking?”

    Now, I’m frantically flipping through notes and rifling through my handouts. Where did I put that formula sheet? These notes don’t even make sense! What was I trying to write here? Where’s my syllabus? Now, panic starts to set in. How am I going to learn all of this in a week? After realizing my notes aren’t making much sense, and I’ve probably already gone through them too many times, I turn to stage 3.

  3. 3. Stage 3: “YouTube, please help”

    My saving grace. Through YouTube, various websites, and other classmates’ knowledge, the material starts to come together. Stage 3 is where I finally start to make sense of the concepts I couldn’t figure out in stage 2. I actually start feeling OK about the exam coming up; maybe I will pass this class.

  4. 4. Stage 4: “Exam morning”

    Still pretty full of nerves, but feeling more prepared, I roll out of bed, throw on some sweats, and grab a quick breakfast while pouring myself a full mug of coffee. I head to my exam while reviewing my notes one last time, only slightly jittery now that the coffee’s kicking in. 

  5. 5. Stage 5: “Nap time”

    After finishing my exam, there’s only one thing on my mind: SLEEP. I usually try to shower and grab lunch before I pass out (self-care!), but that doesn’t always work out. Though I generally stick to a pretty strict sleep schedule, if there’s one time it gets a little wonky, it’s exam week. So, I have to catch up when I can, hence the naps! Just make sure you don’t miss any of your other exams.

I hope you found these stages relatable! Best of luck with midterms!