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Anna Schultz-Girl On Computer With Notebooks
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Life > Academics

Surviving Your Midterms

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UPRM chapter.

With September almost over, the pressure of classes starts increasing, as does the workload. And with the semester being halfway done, this is the moment where many students start to feel tired, cram for exams, or fall victim to burnout. However, this isn’t inevitable! So take a deep breath, and see if any of these tips and tricks help alleviate the stress of being a student.

1. Notes, notes, notes

Something that helped me A LOT with many of my classes was to take whatever I wrote during the lesson and re-write it as more concise notes. I will not lie, my fridge was once covered in sticky notes with all the steps of the Krebs Cycle, and it may sound silly, but it helps! Reading and re-writing information can help you retain it. Additionally, you can implement a color system e.g., red for definitions, blue for keywords, etc, or draw brainstorming charts to break down concepts.

2. Make it Fun

As fun as studying can be, anyway. A technique that I have been using since high school is to basically quiz myself. Think Kahoot games, but using your notes. I would tell my sister to ask me about certain topics or specific enzyme functions (if you couldn’t guess, I’m a microbiology major) and that way I could decipher what I was remembering and what I needed to review more.

Associating terms or words with other mundane words can also be helpful when you need to memorize things! Maybe the word sounds a little like a fruit, or the name of a character you like. Making that sort of connection can help you remember things during an exam.

3. Get. Your. beauty. sleep.

Please, read it as many times as needed! As college students, late nights are impossible to avoid, but making a habit out of them can be bad too. Resting is an essential necessity that you cannot neglect, otherwise you may end up burning out. Remember to take breaks during study sessions, perhaps implementing the Pomodoro Technique, and get plenty of sleep so your brain can remember all of those book chapters you read.

4. Office Hours

One advice I always give is to NEVER keep quiet if you have doubts about the class material. Your professors are one of the best references you can reach out to, so write down their office hours and make use of them! I cannot count the times that I walked out of office hours understanding the material even better than after class. Many professors also want to see that you are interested in learning, and may even give you little hints that prove helpful during class examinations (this is a rare occurrence, kind of like finding a four leaf clover, but it happens!). Either way, make sure to clarify whatever you don’t fully understand so that your study sessions run more smoothly.

5. Pace Yourself

Everyone on campus knows what hellweek is; that horrid moment of the month when everything piles up together and you feel like the work is never ending. Although difficult, the best way to get through those hard patches is to tackle things one at a time. Organize a schedule based on due dates or difficulty (up to you!) and execute it.

For example, if you have an easy report due on Wednesday and an exam on Thursday, maybe getting the report out of the way first will open up space for you to study for the exam more calmly.

Having the organization that schedules provide can help you decrease anxiety and avoid getting blocked, so try finding a system that works for you and give it a go!

And last but not least…

Perhaps the most important piece of advice that I can give you, however, is to believe in yourself. Believe that you can do it and have faith in your capabilities. Sometimes we tend to compare ourselves to others and end up feeling like imposters, but remember that college isn’t a competition nor is it a race. This is your journey and you get to mold it in whichever way fits you best. Never doubt your potential, and keep going!

Nol is a recently graduated Industrial Microbiology major who serves as a writer for the UPRM Her Campus chapter. Among her main professional interests are environmental safety and protection as well as microbiological areas such as mycology and overall microbiome analysis. Outside of academics, Nol has a lifelong appreciation for pastries and desserts, baking whenever possible. She enjoys re-watching comfort anime and shows, and has a personal goal of petting as many dogs and cats possible. Overall, Nol hopes to be able to continue to nurture her love and appreciation for both sciences and the arts, and accomplish work that involves these subjects as she believes they are intertwined with each other.