Staying Sane During Midterms

It’s that time…again.  It feels like just yesterday we were home for those four glorious weeks of winter break, but now midterm exams are back to haunt us.  When I hear my professors mention upcoming tests, I panic, and I’m sure we all have the same immediate response: sweaty palms, rapid heart rate, and voices in our heads telling us that there’s no way we are going to get through the next couple of weeks.  But, we need to remember to stay calm during midterms; stressing out literally does nothing good for us and actually hinders our study habits. 


Here’s what you need to do to mentally and physically survive your midterms:


1. Exercise- I cannot stress the importance of it enough.  As Elle Woods would say, “Exercise gives you endorphins.  Endorphins make you happy.”  This is completely true, and we should all listen to her advice.  Taking just one hour out of your day to hit the gym is the best thing you can do for your body during exam time.  After all those hours sitting in the library our minds become filled with stressful energy and negative thoughts.  An exercise break will clear your head and leave you to go back to studying with a new mindset. 


2. Stay in the moment- there are so many times when I feel my mind skipping around to weeks in the future when I have more papers and tests to study for, and I am constantly reminding myself to think in the moment.  Looking ahead into future assignments is only going to stress you out more- it is important to focus on the present and prioritize what needs to get done first. 


3. Take breaks- I don’t know about you, but when I sit in the library for too long my body starts to cramp up.  Every hour, try taking a ten-minute walk to refocus and relax your mind.

4. Think positively- I love having inspirational quotes as my phone’s wallpaper, and I really recommend it.  It’s a small, happy reminder to think good thoughts.  Remind yourself that everyone has exams and that you are going to get through it.  The days go by and there’s nothing you can do to avoid any of it, so why not choose to be optimistic about it?