Spring semester is one of the best things about attending the College of William and Mary. From sunny days on the terrace, to Campus Golf, to Spring Break, and finally Blowout, these five months tend to fly by. Unfortunately, in between these eventful moments, we have to do a bit of schoolwork.
Before the warm Williamsburg weather hits, the January and February course load is topped off with writing cover letters, perfecting resumes, and finding a quiet space to conduct a phone interview. And just as you land an internship or summer job, get the hang of your schoolwork, extracurricular activities, social life, and manage to fit in a few hours of sleep….it’s time for mid-terms! Maybe they aren’t as stressful and packed together as finals are, but balancing everything can be pretty difficult. From a few semesters of experience, I have discovered the ways that keep me alive, at least until finals.
1. As much as it pains me to say, you might have to choose a few nights to stay in. Trust me, I’m a huge fan of Thursday, Friday, and Saturday night festivities. This semester, though, I just can’t get my work done if I go out twice in a week, much less all three nights. I know, I sound like a grandma, but I’ve realized how much I need my sleep on the weekends, especially after undertaking my very first 8 AM. Don’t worry, the time after midterms and before finals will (hopefully) give you plenty of opportunity to romp around the units and bars.
2. Get some perspective. Put your book down. Look up from your computer. Leave Swem. Call your parents. Call your best friend. Breathe, and remember that this test is not life-or-death. You will be okay, even if you do get below a C.
3. Prioritize. If there is no possible way to read 250 pages, study for a midterm, AND write a two-page response to a movie in one night, then you are going to have to be smart, and pick and choose. If the midterm is 30% of your grade, and the reading is only for participation for 10% for another class, obviously the midterm studying should be your priority.
4. Find a healthy break for your brain. My go-to is watching Gossip Girl at the gym. Exercise relieves my stress, and the drama and on goings of the Upper East Side allows me to think about something other than schoolwork, if only for an hour. I know it can seem like a hassle and waste of your time to trek to the rec, but it’s worth it. Plus, you will feel healthier and more focused, creating a better atmosphere and attitude for studying.
5. Cut down on social media. Four days ago, I gave up both Facebook and Twitter cold turkey. Honestly, I only deactivated both forms of social media because I was spending too much time stalking my pictures from a semester abroad, but it has definitely led to an improvement of my study habits. I probably should have quit them before my first midterm, considering I’m realizing exactly how much time I wasted hash tagging and constantly scrolling through my newsfeed. I’ve even completed work that is due next week – definitely a first.
6. CAFFEINE. I have never been a big coffee drinker. But this semester, it is how I find the energy to get anything done while running on five hours of sleep. Plus, I’m finding Greenberry’s lattes to be a bit more appetizing than the ones of Mews.
If you have any of your own helpful hints to enduring the William & Mary midterm season, please let me know. I’ll be at a table in the middle of the second floor of Swem.