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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at LUM chapter.

It’s that time of year again and whether it feels like yesterday was the first day of the semester or if you’ve been dragging, midterm season has arrived. With the increased stress of exams, it’s essential to take care of yourself. Here are eight ways of managing stress around midterms.

1. Time management

During this time of the year, you may be working on multiple assignments, projects, tests, and many other things. Managing your time is the key to success. It may be helpful to use a planner, notepad, or calendar to keep track of deadlines and time slots for each activity. Following a schedule will help you keep a clear mind and get your tasks done. The best studying is done in short chunks over a longer time period. Minimize your studying time and maximize your free time! 

2. Set realistic goals

We all know promising to start studying two weeks before your exam never happens. Saying you can study half of your history textbook the morning of the test doesn’t work either. You know yourself. You know what works best and what is unrealistic. The moral of the study: just be realistic. Before your midterm week starts, take out a pen and paper and make a list of ten goals you want to accomplish. seeing those check marks and lines go through each task will feel super accomplishing and even the smallest win should be recognized.  

3. Break up your Studying 

Raise your hand if you hate studying. I know every reader is fake raising their hand right now. We can all agree that studying sucks. However, if you break it up into bits it is less overwhelming. Write it out. Plan each section and break for yourself. Study chemistry for 45 minutes then grab dinner with some friends. Review 25 pages of Aristotle tonight then another 25 tomorrow. It’s worse to overwhelm yourself and put too much on your plate. If you plan ahead and start early enough, you can allow yourself to take breaks and make the process more manageable. 

4. Practice Self-Care 

Self-care can include face masks, bubble baths, painting your nails, or an “everything shower”. But self-care also includes eating the right foods, treating yourself with dessert every so often, seeing friends, and doing the things you love to do. Don’t isolate yourself and ruin your mental health over these tests-it’s not worth it. You come first. So check in with yourself and see how you’re feeling and what you need. Maybe take a night off or make yourself some hot chocolate. 

5. Cut Out Distractions

You know what I am about to say… delete Tiktok! It hurts but it’s necessary. Make screen time limits and set your downtime. We all have spent nights scrolling away on Instagram and before you know it, two hours have passed by and you haven’t gotten through one single paragraph. Distractions are our worst enemy during studying time. “Just one more episode then I will start”, we often think to ourselves. That mindset ends right now. So put your phone away in your desk drawer or leave your phone at home while you study in a cafe. If you cut out the distractions you can finish studying sooner and watch all the Netflix you want!  

6. Reach out for support

If you’re struggling or feeling lost or just need to let out your emotions it’s okay to get help. You can reach out to friends, family, classmates and professors for support. Even a tutor is a great form of support if you’re struggling in a particular subject. Office hours are a great tool for all students, make a list of concepts that confuse you or ones you just need more clarity on. Save yourself the stress and ask for help! 

7. Make Bed time a priority

We require at least eight hours of sleep each night. This is especially important on nights before an exam. Pulling an all-nighter is not the best decision… you will regret it in the morning. It’s best to just set aside your notes, get a good night’s rest, and finish the rest in the morning. Sleep is key. You wouldn’t want to fall asleep while doing the test, would you? Or sleep through your alarm because you stayed up until 2:00 AM. Think before you pull an all-nighter. Sleep will give your body the energy it needs to plow through all that studying.  

8. Believe in yourself

If you can believe in yourself then you have already made progress. Don’t go into the room with a negative mindset. Think positive thoughts: I am a great student, I am intelligent, I can pass this midterm. Just try your best and you will be pleasantly surprised. Believe you can do it. Your hard work all semester and studying will give you results you hoped for, trust me. You got this!  

Talia Navarro is a freshman at Loyola University of Maryland. She was born and raised in New Jersey. She attended Middletown High School South, the place where she found her interest in studying law. She took Business Ethics, Creative Writing, and Effective Oral Communication electives. At the end of her senior year in high school, she won three different awards for submitting writing entries. The pieces included topics of being a child of a first responder, growing up as a dancer, and her dream of becoming a lawyer. Her journaling fascination was sparked by her Dad at a young age. If she ever had a school paper, she would report straight to him. They would sit in the dining room for hours and work through her corrections and how to improve her skills. Whether it is a simplistic story about rescuing her dog or writing about the causes of World War II, he was able to excel. She still continues to aspire to have her father’s ability and reach his level of composing mastery. In her personal life, she has incorporated journaling into her everyday routine, to reflect on her gratitude and make affirmations to herself. She enjoys helping her friends and classmates edit their school papers. She does not have a professional background just yet, however, she hopes to build it soon! She loves to read books in her free time. Her favorite genres are fiction and romance, but recently she has found interest in thrillers. She enjoys exercising and staying active, whether that includes going for a walk outdoors or going to an instructed class. A guilty pleasure of Talia's is shopping. If you ever offer a shopping trip, just know her answer is yes! She also has a passion for hair and makeup. She is always watching tutorials and testing various makeup techniques. She loves to try out new hairstyles and find the best hair care products on the market.