How To: Make it Through Midterms
by Deanna Marano
Whether the first few weeks of the term have seemed entirely short or entirely too long, midterms are once again upon us. Although it’s easy to fall into unhealthy habits while trying to get homework done, make it to class on time, take care of our homes, and now study enough to pass midterms, it’s important that we don’t put our well-being on the back-burner.
First, try to plan your precious time accordingly. If you know you have a midterm in two days, set aside an hour each night until then to study and do homework from other classes, if any. If you end up going over the hour, that’s okay, just try not to go crazy. Your brain can only retain so much at once, so do a little studying at a time and give yourself time to relax too if you really want to learn.
After studying, do whatever you need to around the house. Clean, do laundry, walk the dog, etc. – take care of whatever loose ends need mending. Try not to spend any more than an hour on this either, because now it’s time to take care of yourself. Eat something. Try to make sure it’s something with protein and not a lot of sugar so that you’re nourished and strong, not on a sugar high that will keep you from a restful night’s sleep. Also make sure to drink a lot of water, not just with dinner or meals, but all throughout the day to keep yourself healthy.
Now you need to unwind completely from school, work, and all other duties and just relax. Whether you want to catch up on your favorite television show or read a book, make sure it’s something you truly enjoy doing. Try not to think about anything that still needs done for school or anything else, and just relax your mind, free of distractions. Make sure to take just a minute to take several deep breaths, breathing in slowly with your nose and filling your lungs completely, holding, then releasing the air slowly through your mouth. Do this anytime you’re feeling stressed to clear your mind and re-center.
Finally, get some sleep. I recommend at least eight hours, but try not to get any less than six. If you find you have a hard time sleeping easily at night, try turning off your phone, television, and all other electronic devices that may cause a light in the room or an unnecessary noise. Having a totally dark, quiet room will not only help you fall asleep, but it’ll allow for a more restful sleep.
I hope these tips help you out during tests. Just remember that it’s just as, if not more, important to take good care of yourself during this time of year as it is to study diligently. If you’re healthy, you’ll retain information better and be more alert and on top of your game when testing. And don’t put too much pressure on yourself. After all, you can always make up your grade with finals!