7 Midterm Study Tips So You Can Thrive While Staying Mentally Healthy

Midterms are without a doubt a stressful time for college students every year. But this year, with the COVID-19 pandemic still prevalent, it can be an even bigger struggle. College this semester definitely looks different than it has in the past, but midterms are still just as important. College during a pandemic is tough as it is; it is important to approach midterms in a way that doesn’t cause more unnecessary stress. In order to prevent your mental health from suffering, try some of these tips to ease the pressure during midterms season!

  1. 1. Lay Out the Schedule of Each Assessment

    minimalist office space with a full agenda

    One of the first steps in approaching midterms is keeping a calendar or planner that has each test day and paper due date on it. Our go-to is a big desk calendar so that you can always have the dates right in front of you. This can help avoid missing deadlines and let you develop a bit of a concrete plan as to when you have to have everything done. Doing this can lead to less stress and an easier time completing all your midterms without cramming at the last minute.

  2. 2. Keep an Organized Work Space (and do all your work there!)

    Your desk should be for studying and your bed should be for sleeping. We know how comfortable your bed is, but you aren’t going to get nearly as much done in bed as you would in a designated workspace. You will often find that doing work in bed can lead to getting easily distracted or feeling sleepy. By having a completely separate and organized workspace, you will be almost free of distractions and able to concentrate on the work or studying you are doing.

  3. 3. Take Breaks!

    Nothing is more important than making time to take breaks. If you are working nonstop for hours at a time, your brain is going to be fried. You will feel mentally drained and sometimes unable to comprehend anything else. To get your best work done, you have to give your brain a break. Especially when it comes to remembering material for a midterm exam, it’ll be extremely difficult to keep focus when you are cramming tons of material without a break. By giving yourself time to relax, you will be refreshed and able to take on more material in an efficient way.

  4. 4. Keep Healthy and Delicious Snacks on Hand

    Trail Mix

    In order to keep your energy up and feel good while working hard, you are going to need to fuel your body and brain with snacks that will keep you on your game. You can never go wrong with fruit or nuts, which is why we love the classic pairing of apples and peanut butter. You can also go for a trail mix with dried fruits, nuts, seeds and even chocolate. You can include anything YOU want, which is what makes it so great! If you want something a little more savory instead, go for hummus with some crackers or fresh veggies. These snack foods are easy to prep and eat, will keep you satisfied and give you the energy to keep studying.

  5. 5. Stay Hydrated

    One of the most common ways to feel off while prepping for midterms is not drinking enough water. Coffee is great, but fueling yourself with only caffeine will not hydrate you and can lead to headaches or feeling tired. An easy way to make sure you are drinking enough water is by drinking one serving of water for each caffeinated drink. We also love water bottles like this one that have different time increments that show how much water you should be drinking throughout the day.

  6. 6. Study with Friends

    Photo of people at work putting their hands on top of each other

    If you have friends in your classes, it might be easier to study with a group of them. This is a little hard right now, but you can still get together on Zoom or outside by social distancing while the weather is still nice. Studying the material with a group of friends can help if you are stuck on something, or if you each have different studying techniques. This is also a great idea if you need a little socialization to nurture your mental wellbeing, as we can sometimes forget just how important it is to interact with others.

  7. 7. Reward Yourself

    person holding a remote control pointed at TV streaming netflix

    After each paper or exam, reward yourself! Treating yourself to something yummy or watching an episode of one of your favorite shows is a good way to feel accomplished. This will also give you something positive to look forward to after you're done. Doing something that makes you happy will keep you motivated to finish your next exam or essay because you know you will have something to enjoy after it. When you are done with all your midterms, you can even spend a whole day pampering yourself and relaxing as a reward for killing it!

We know how tough midterms are, but doing just a few of these things can help ease stress and help your mental health. Midterms are important, but your well-being should come first. Doing these little things can help you crush your midterms while staying healthy and happy!