Whether it’s your first or your seventh, midterms can be stressful. Second only to finals, midterms are perhaps one of the busiest times of the semester. Throughout my time at Union, I’ve managed to pick up some tips that help to make this stressful time more bearable.
- Don’t feel pressured to study the way everyone else does. Studying in high school and throughout college has helped you know yourself best. While study groups work well for some people and classes, it may end up being an ineffective use of time for others. If you prefer to have a mix of both, know which of your classes you would benefit from group studying and know which ones you would benefit from spending some alone time in a study room.
- Don’t make studying your only priority. I’ve noticed that as deadlines and test dates approach, everything else in my life gets pushed aside. Unfortunately, this often includes devotions, working out, meals and sleep. While skipping these things can open more study time, it’s more likely that you’ll burn yourself out partway through the week. Don’t neglect your health for the sake of a test or paper, it’ll be worse in the long run, especially for your other classes. Spending some time at Larson or going on a short autumn walk may be just the study break you need to continue through the week.
- Make a list. It’s simple, but it’ll help you get things done. Write down everything that needs to be done in one place, no matter how small of a task it is, and prioritize it. With all the different due dates floating around your head, it’s too easy to mix them up or forget about a task altogether. With everything on paper (or on your phone), you won’t have to worry about having to remember it all on your own. The less you have to keep track of, the more you can focus on the actual studying.
- Set up your game plan for the week. Once you have everything on your list that needs to be accomplished, work on getting it all into your week’s schedule. Include the times you plan to study for each class as well as your meals and breaks. This can ensure you have enough time to study for each of your tests while finishing up papers and not letting your study breaks go too long. Setting aside a few minutes to set up a schedule will give better time management for the rest of the week and more peace of mind.
- Put away all distractions. Although this is one of the most obvious tips, it’s still just as important. Being constantly surrounded by social media and entertainment can make it difficult to concentrate on the task at hand. At least for midterm week, logout of Netflix, keep the phone on silent and take a break from social media. There’ll be plenty of time for it during Fall Break, and your grades will thank you for it
Amanda McCarter is a junior studying biomedical science.