Written by: Cosme Lozano
We have all been there. Some of us are there right now. You dread it and run from it all for as long as you can. It can be none other than midterm’s week…
Midterms are often one of the highest stress points during a semester for college students, and rightfully so. Being tested on everything you have learned in eight weeks can be a daunting situation for some people. Pair that with the fact that a lot of students are still adjusting to in person classes, and the stress really builds up.
Ladies and gentlemen, I am here today to tell you no. It does not have to be.
When approaching midterms, I like to take the approach of doing the hardest thing first. By doing the hardest thing first, you eliminate the toughest obstacle ahead of you. When you can accomplish it that is a huge morale booster. So for instance I have a paper, PowerPoint, and a big test I need to study for. I might do the paper first because for that class, I am doing the worst in. I can make it a priority and put in the extra time to make it what it needs to be. After tackling that, everything else should feel and look relatively easy in comparison.
Sometimes you need some “extra juice” before you can get running though. This has sometimes happened to me as well. In some cases, you don’t have the energy or motivation to do the work right off the bat. With situations like these, it is best to do a really easy assignment first. Something that will require little effort, or take very little time. Some like to save the easiest for last, but sometimes there is value in doing the easy stuff first. By doing an easy thing first, you build confidence within yourself and you show yourself that you can accomplish the work. It’s like tricking your brain, but in a good way.
Other key steps in surviving midterms include having a good study zone and making sure you keep high energy levels. With having a good study zone, you want to make sure you are in a place that is comfortable while also being a place you can focus and get to business. For this, I recommend coffee houses, your public library, or maybe even a basement if you have one. I have had some intense study sessions in my basement back in the day.. Regardless, find what works for you and stick with it.
Keeping high energy levels consist of multiple things. You need to make sure you are eating well, and also getting the right amount of sleep. All-nighters are not recommended, unless the situation is that dire. You also have to try as hard as you can to keep a positive outlook. Some people come into midterms in great shape, and the tests are not really a concern. However, for other people, midterms are a situation in which they can’t afford to mess up. This pressure can be overwhelming but you have to try as hard as you can to channel that pressure into good study sessions. Reaffirming yourself that everything will be fine can also be a huge help. That and breathing. Make sure you take three deep breaths, breathing in your nose and out through your mouth.
For my last tip, you have to understand that each class and subject matter is different. Each class will require its own special approach. Make a game plan and schedule ahead of your tests and projects, so that way you can build the best plan of attack for each class
Midterms don’t have to be stressful. They only become stressful when we are not ready. Take it seriously now and feel confident when the time comes. Trust me, you’ll thank yourself when you are relaxing on break and have nothing more to worry about!