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Midterm Survival Guide

Midterms can be ROUGH. Getting that A is important, but not at the expense of taking care of yourself. Follow this guide to make sure you make it out of midterms alive and keeping your sanity intact!

When you’re studying, take a 5 minute mental break every hour.

A lot of studies have proven that taking a break to relax and reset your brain while studying for exams is essential for achieving maximum productivity and success on those dreaded midterms. Your brain gets tired from taking in all that information after a while, so it’s necessary to make sure you give your brain a break. Take 5 minutes to listen to your favorite song and get up and dance! Moving your body will help you feel more energetic after staring at a screen for what seems like forever. Go outside and look up at the sky. Giving your eyes a break from looking at a screen will help you from getting fatigued too quickly.

Make sure you get enough sleep!

This one should go without saying, but make sure you sleep! I know pulling an all-nighter can be tempting—especially if you don’t feel ready for a test—but trust me on this one. According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, sleep helps our brains work properly. While we are sleeping, it is forming new neural pathways to help us learn and remember all of the information we need to know—in this case, our midterms! Studies show that getting a full night’s rest can even help improve our learning abilities and problem-solving skills, which will definitely help during tests. It also helps us to pay attention (yes, even in math class), make decisions (like choosing to sleep instead of staying up all night studying), and be creative! So long story short, make sure you get enough sleep!

Spend time with friends!

During midterms, it can feel like you have time for nothing but studying, but balancing studying with a little bit of friend time is definitely worth it. You’ll probably even do better on that test you’ve been stressing over if you spend time with your friends the day before. Studies have shown that social support is very strongly associated with better mental and physical health, so don’t forget about your friends during this stressful midterm season! Go see a movie, have a girls’ night and stay in or go to your fave restaurant. Do whatever makes you happy!

Put your phone on “Do Not Disturb” mode… and don’t look at it while you’re studying.

I know checking your phone every 5 minutes is really tempting, I’m guilty of it too. During studying though, it is essential to not touch your phone. A couple minutes scrolling through Instagram can suddenly turn into hours. Put your phone on “Do Not Disturb” until you are done studying or when you’re ready to take a 5 minute break to play your favorite song. Overcome the temptation of using your phone by putting it on “Do Not Disturb” and placing it face down. It’ll still be there for you after you’re done studying, don’t worry.

Stop studying a couple hours before you go to bed.

Your brain needs a BREAK. If you study all the way up until you go to bed, your brain will take longer to calm down. I know when I’ve studied right before bed, it takes me a while to fall asleep because my mind is racing with everything I had just studied. So, before you go to bed take an hour or two to just relax. Whether that be cuddling up in bed with your favorite book or watching a good movie, make sure you let your brain calm down a little before getting some well-deserved shut eye.

I hope these tips helped and I would love to hear from you all about what your go-to midterm survival tips are! Message me on IG! (@shelbylavery) Happy studying!

Shelby Lavery

CU Boulder '19

Shelby is currently a senior at the University of Colorado Boulder majoring in Communication and minoring in Theatre. She just joined HCCU this semester, but is super excited to start writing and creating content! She is originally from Playa del Rey, California but has become absolutely enamored with the mountains ever since she moved to Colorado. You can almost always find her with coffee in hand while walking to class and dazing off at the gorgeous Flatirons. Make sure to follow her on Instagram @shelbylavery and Twitter @shelby_anne19 ♡
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