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

With midterms around the corner, it’s important to have a plan to prevent mid-semester stress. As a Junior, with four midterm week experiences in the bag, I will share with you the tricks and experiences that helped me successfully survive.  

1. Morning routines 

Waking up early and having a routine are often taken for granted. Throughout my two years of college, I have been the two types of morning people. First, the one that wakes up 30min before class just to get dressed and run out the door, and second, the one that wakes up an hour before class and has a morning ritual. Out of the two, I found that the second one is more helpful, although easier said than done. In order to successfully have a morning ritual, you first must have a good sleeping schedule (but don’t be discouraged if you don’t, I’ll talk about that too). You might be asking yourself, how is having a morning routine going to help me prevent stress? Well, first of all, it allows you to take your time to get ready for the day. Nobody likes feeling like they’re being rushed, especially to go to class. Personally, there’s a series of things that I enjoy doing in the morning before getting dressed, and in order to do that, I set my alarm an hour and 10-20 minutes before my first class. Since I’m not the type of person that can immediately get out of bed when the alarm goes off, I use those extra minutes to check my phone which also helps to shake off the feeling of wanting to go to bed again. These minutes also allow me to take my time to go to the bathroom, wash my face, brush my teeth and brew my coffee. While my coffee is brewing, I make my bed and choose an outfit for the day, depending on the weather and how many classes I have. Finally, I head to the kitchen to drink my coffee, have breakfast if I’m hungry, and sometimes review for any assessments that I may have. Having a morning routine, especially during midterms, will allow you to start the day with the necessary energy to take on the day and feel motivated to work.  

2. Stay on campus after classes 

For the past two years, I have found that finding a spot-on campus to work during the day and prevent going back to my room, has been the most helpful for work management. Personally, if I would go back to my room, I would procrastinate, feel tired or get too distracted to get any work done. Nevertheless, finding a spot that suits me to sit and work through assignments during the day helps to have less to do later in the day and time management. Plus, you’re closer to your classes! Some of the spots that I have found helpful to get work done here at Loyola are the Humanities building (of course), the lounge area at the Writing Department, the library, and, especially, the second and third floor of Donnelly. These are all places where you’ll feel calm and not become distracted. However, if you’re a person that doesn’t get easily distracted, Starbucks and anywhere in the Fernandez Center are good too.  

3. To-do lists 

Speaking of time management, it is needless to say that having a to-do list is a must. However, I have found that having two types of to-do lists is helpful. First, there’s the weekly to-do list where I allot the days of when I’m going to do what depending on its due date. Second, there’s the daily to-do list which I often divide by time or priority. This specific daily to-do list allows me to track how long a task is going to take me, while simultaneously time manage for the rest of my tasks.  

4. Walks 

None of these practices would be possible without allotting time for one’s mental health and a buffer from the workload. I use walks as a time to debrief, enjoy the outdoors when possible, and talk to friends and family. I don’t force myself to run or do a hardcore exercise, unless I feel like it, because I prefer to use this time to relax and take a breather. When the weather allows for it, I walk through Stony Run Park which I highly recommend because there’s lots of greenery to admire, along with animals. There’s also a playground and space to enjoy time with friends. As an alternative, I go to the FAC, but somewhere where close to a window where I can also enjoy the outdoors.  

5. Sleep 

Finally, but not least important, sleep. Just like having both experiences with morning routines, I have also had both experiences with sleep schedules. I’ve been the student that stays up until 2 am studying just like I’ve been the one that is in bed before midnight. Out of the two, I have to say that surprise, the second one works best. Getting at least eight hours of sleep is essential to make all of these practices possible. Without sleep, you wouldn’t have the energy to successfully perform all of these. I’m sure you’re reading this and saying, “how am I supposed to get eight hours of sleep with this much to do?” I promise you that once you put these stress preventative techniques to work, you’ll have time to do your work while taking care of yourself. By working through assignments throughout the day, you will have less to do during the night. Furthermore, by allotting time during the week to do things before their due dates, you’ll be able to time manage and not pile up in work.  

Finding ways to lead with workload is difficult, especially while handling extracurriculars and your personal life as a student. However, trying different techniques until finding the one that works best for you is key. Once found, it is crucial to be consistent with it in order to get accustomed to it and successfully survive. With a few stumbles along the road, I identified what was best for me. I hope they help you too!

Claudia is a junior at Loyola University of Maryland majoring in Biology and minoring in Writing hoping to pursue a career as a Physician’s Assistant. Born and raised in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Claudia, enjoys spending time with her friends and family, the outdoors, and food from home.