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Midterm Season: A Survival Guide

It feels like only yesterday that we were at the OAP, enjoying good music and the company of friends. Now, almost half way through October, I am once again reminded of the looming midterm season. Midterms are no fun. Whether you are a freshman at the beginning of your studies or a senior wrapping up your college experience, midterm season can leave you feeling overwhelmed under the weight of papers and tests. The signs are all too familiar: students carrying supersized cups, the lack of empty seats in the library, dark circles under your eyes that seem to have appeared out of nowhere. However, especially having just left the mental health awareness day behind, we have to take a step back before submitting to the strain and letting midterms drain us – emotionally and physically. Midterm season is hard, but it’s not impossible to handle the work and stress responsibly and mindfully. Here are some tips to help you make it out of the midterm season unscathed:

1) Make A List:

You have plenty of assignments to do and exams to study for. If you’re anything like me, you think about that paper you have to write while studying for a test because there is so much to do and not enough time to worry about all of them. So anything that’s taking up a place in your mind – write it down. Get it all out and make a list according to task deadlines. This way, you know what you are up against, and it will feel so good when you cross each item off the list as you go.

2) Take Care Of Yourself:

This may sound obvious, but we all know all too well that practicing basic health can get hard when you have so much to get done. All-nighters may be okay every now and then, but they will eventually catch up to you. Learn to listen to your body and recognize when you need a break, and use that time to catch up on your sleep or practice yoga. Not only will you feel physically better, you’ll also refresh your mind. Sometimes, it’s all you need to finish a paper.

3) Don’t Overdo The Caffeine:

Have a coffee in the morning, and maybe a smaller one later in the day, but don’t over-caffeinate yourself. Caffeine jitters are one of the easiest ways to kill your workflow; so don’t hinder your own chance at success! Try to drink more water instead – it will help you stay awake and it has the added bonus of keeping your skin fresh.

4) Change Up Your Study Space:

If you start getting too comfortable studying in your room, then it’s time to change up your study space. Libraries can have the same effect too – especially if you tend to go for the same spot every day – you might find it harder to focus as well as you used to. A change is as good as a rest! Do yourself a favour and change your study space to keep your focus fresh if you’re finding yourself getting drowsy whilst poring over your notes.

5) Mind Your Own Business:

Most of the time, hearing other people complain about their work and seeing them stress themselves out is enough to reinforce the perception that midterms are bad and wake up the panic-monster sleeping inside. Unfortunately, it is a fact that stress associated with midterms doesn’t only come from the actual workload itself, but also from listening to other people rant. Keep your focus on your own list of things you need to do, and try to stay away from the panic-stricken mode most students seem to be a victim of. Nothing good comes out of it.

Good luck!


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