The time has come, the seventh week of the semester is here. This can only mean one thing: midterms. Midterms are one of the two most stressful times in a semester, with the other being finals. It is easy to succumb to stress, but you can fight it off with preparing for what the week will bring. Here are some tips to help you to be your most productive and successful self during this stressful week.
1. Look at your syllabi and talk to your professors.
Check what your syllabus for each class says so you have a basic understanding of what your midterm will consist of. Talk to your professors and ask for a detailed explanation of what is to be expected. Asking about things like the content and format of your midterm will not only help you in your prep work, but also help you mentally prepare yourself for how much and what type of work lies ahead.
2. Get organized.
Know the dates of your exams and write them down! There is nothing worse than missing an exam. Be clear on the date, time and location of your exam. It is helpful to write down the information in an organizer to ensure clarity. Be sure to know all of your professors’ office hours and emails just in case you have questions for them.
3. Plan, Prepare and STUDY!
There are three main components to having a successful, minimally stressful midterms week: plan, prepare and study!
Plan: In your agenda, block out times in around classes/extracurriculars to dedicate solely to midterm preparation; hold yourself accountable and stick to your plan! You’ve come so far this semester, don’t let all of your hard work fall apart because of procrastination or overbooking.
Prepare: Be sure to do your prep work! Do things in advance: make those comprehensive study guides and note cards, get to work on making outlines for papers, retrieve all research before crunch time comes.
Study: Study the material! Give yourself an adequate amount of time to go through the material at least three times or until you understand it. Be sure to know your professors’ office hours and study before them so you can go to your professor for one on one support if need be.
4. Take care of your body.
It is easy to be neglectful to yourself during times of high stress, but it is crucial to tend to yourself as much as, if not more than, your studies. While it is tempting to live solely off of caffeine during midterms week, it is anything but helpful to do this.
Fenn’s Coffee truck gives a 25 cent discount if you bring your own reusable mug! You get to save some cash and the environment getting your next coffee, all while supporting a great local business. They’re located just outside of Schmucker Science Center. Buy some of your favorite foods to indulge in when you need the extra bit of comfort. Fuel your body right and stay ahead of your busy schedule by meal prepping nourishing meals for the week. Keep healthy snacks with you to keep you going all day long.
Take a break from work while eating meals, use the time instead to relax by doing something passive like watching Netflix, listening to music or browsing social media. Try to go for a walk and get some fresh air; being confined inside for hours on end, doing nothing but studying can make you feel restless and unfocused. Going for a walk can help reset your motivation and clear your mind of distractions.
5. Take care of your mind.
Just as it is easy to neglect your body during times of high stress, the same goes for the mind. Be sure to check in with yourself and listen to what your body is telling you. Do not get discouraged or defeated. You have accomplished so many things so far in your life’s journey already, midterms are just another hill to climb over. You can do this! Build a network of support with your peers and your friends, checking in with one another is great for morale. Be aware of the resources on campus that can help you deal with stress, like the counseling center and the therapy dogs that always come to say hello. Make sure you’re getting an adequate amount of sleep—the amount and quality of rest you get can really affect you and your day, so make it a good one by catching enough z’s!
It is important to try your hardest and do your absolute best on your midterms, but if they don’t go as planned— it is not the end of the world, you will be okay. You have the rest of the semester ahead of you still to perform better in your classes and bring your grades up. Ask your professors about extra credit opportunities to help boost your grade.
We only have to make it through this week of hecticness until we’re able to bask in the sweet freedom that spring break brings. While spring break is a literal break from classes, don’t neglect scholarly responsibilities over the week off. Procrastination will only make you stressed. Know what you have to get done for when you return to classes and work on a portion of each assignment daily. We’re all in this together and we’ve got this. Go study!
Sabrina Von Ahrens is a third-year Engilish major with minors in French and linguistics. SV915865@wcupa.edu