As college students, you would think we’d anticipate midterms. Conversely, by the time they roll around we feel this immense pressure to succeed.
It’s nearly impossible to get anything done efficiently when you’re stressed out; not only that, but stress can lead to breakouts, missed periods and, in severe cases, sickness. There are many ways to stay prepared, avoid stress, and improve your overall mental health throughout midterm season.
1) Stay ahead of the game. Staying ahead will give you the advantage of more study time. In most classes, if there is a syllabus, midterm dates are posted. Keep those dates in mind as they get closer and then allow yourself adequate study time.
2) Don’t overload yourself. Break up subjects in order to effectively cover them all. Your brain needs breaks, and if you keep pushing yourself, you won’t retain the information.
3) Eat right. Studies show that certain foods help with brain power, memory, and hormone levels to help stay stress free. These foods include:
- blackberries: they contain antioxidants known as Polyphenols that decrease inflammation of the brain cells and improve the brain’s ability to soak up new information.
- apples: they are a leading source of quercetin, which is an antioxidant plant chemical that keeps your mental juices flowing and protects your brain cells. Make sure you eat the skins, because they contain the most quercetin!
- salmon: it’s nature’s #1 source for Vitamin D, which research has shown is linked to the decrease of cognitive decline.
4) GET SOME SLEEP! We’re all familiar with the infamous (and almost impossible) all night-er cram session. I’m here to tell you that these don’t work! Cramming a semester’s worth of information into your brain with the expectation of relating and comprehending it all is unrealistic. Chances are, you’ll only remember the last few things that you studied. Also, your brain doesn’t function well on no sleep. Not to mention, when pulling an all-nighter you’re liable to fall asleep and miss your midterm!
5) Reward yourself. You did it! Being in college is hard; not everyone is fortunate to be where you are! Think of those students from your freshman year who were here one semester and then never came back. Be proud of yourself, and continue to work hard!