12 Things to Remember During Midterms
This article was written by the Peer Health Educators’ Rest & Relaxation Team—Avery McGinnis, Nadine Charania and Niroshini Mather.
1) make a schedule and write it down
Having a written-out schedule can alleviate stress, save you time, help you set priorities, and make goals feel more achievable. Midterms can be overwhelming, and keeping all of your tasks in your brain can make it even harder. By making a schedule, you can take those tasks out of your brain and put them to paper, which can alleviate stress because you won’t need to worry about forgetting things, and you can take your to-do list off your mind. Additionally, without needing to constantly remember your tasks, you can plan out your time according to your priorities, work in time for self-care, and won’t have to waste time repeatedly planning things out. Finally, by making a schedule, you can break large goals into smaller parts and plan out how you will slowly chip away at it. This can make goals feel more achievable and allow you to feel accomplished, even if you haven’t completed an entire task.
2) stay social
Midterm season is stressful and humans are social beings! Spending time socializing, even if it’s just to vent your stress and frustrations can be a great way to relieve stress. Taking walks or calling friends can also help you get some physical activity during midterms. Additionally, working in defined social time can motivate you to set your priorities and study more efficiently. Overall, staying social can be a great way to maintain your mental and physical health, and could even help motivate you to improve your studies!
3) stay active
We all know physical activity is important to maintain good health, but it can be hard to do during midterm season. But like social time, physical activity can help you relieve stress, maintain your mental and physical health, and set your priorities during midterms. One way to help you work physical activity into your busy midterm-season schedule is to set realistic goals. For example, if you are not a runner, midterm season may not be the time to start running. Creating some time each day to move in a way that feels good to you, whether that’s a brisk walk, yoga, running, or lifting weights, can help you work physical activity into your schedule in a positive way.
4) Don’t fall into unhealthy habits (don’t lose your self-care routine)
Studying for midterms is important, but so is taking the time for yourself! In the stress of midterm season, we often neglect mundane parts of our self-care routine, despite its importance to both our physical and mental health. To help hold yourself accountable, try adding a designated “self-care time” to your daily schedule!
5) Give yourself things to look forward to
Midterm season can often seem endless and bleak. Creating small pockets of hope throughout midterm season can uplift your motivation and renew your sense of purpose! It can be something as small as taking a walk with friends after finishing a practice quiz or ordering your favourite meal after a long day!
6) Keep up your sleep schedule
For most of us, midterm season is synonymous with all-nighters, power naps and too much caffeine. However, did you know students who sleep better tend to have recall, consolidation, and focus? Try aiming for around 7-8 hours of sleep each day, with consistent times for waking up and going to bed! Having trouble falling asleep? Setting aside time for quiet wind-down activities like reading or listening to a podcast can help!
7) Don’t worry about what others are doing
During midterm season, it is easy to fall into the trap of comparing ourselves to our peers academically or socially. To be perfectly blunt, it’s useless! We all have our own weaknesses and areas for improvement, just as we have unique gifts and strengths. Instead, set a goal of giving your best in whatever assessment you’re facing. And remember, numerical grades do not define your abilities – you do!
8) Reduce Screen Time (where possible)
Staring at your computer all day can get tiring so it’s helpful to take a screen break wherever you can. Are there ways you can study without using a screen? See if you can print out your notes, make your own flash cards.
9) Mix up your study techniques
Tired of reading over your notes for the 10thtime? Try mixing things up! Try some new study strategies like flash cards, writing notes out by hand, or doing practice midterms. Mixing up your study methods will help you learn and retain new concepts faster.
10) study in groups
Tired of studying on your own? Get together and study with a group of other people in your class. Teaching others, sharing questions and answers, and quizzing each other is a great way to learn and study.
11) Have (healthy) snacks when you study!!
Don’t forget to fuel your brain when studying! Prepare some snacks in advance that you can bring to your study sessions. Try study snacks like nuts, cheese, fruit, or popcorn. Don’t forget your water bottle!
12) Celebrate your achievements!!
When you achieve something during midterms, celebrate that achievement! University is hard and midterms can be even harder. Make sure to take the time to recognize your own achievements and celebrate all the work you did to achieve them! Whether it’s a self-care day, a night out with friends, or anything in between, taking time to celebrate your achievements will give you something to look forward to this midterm season!