The semester is already halfway over. Let that sink in for a moment. It feels like only moments ago I was starting my senior year of college, and now all of a sudden it is three quarters of the way finished. The madness of midterms is in full swing for many of us, and it’s easy to feel a bit overwhelmed.
It’s too late to drop classes, and some of us may already be doing the math to figure out how little effort we can put forward and still pass our classes. I’ve never been one of those people, but as I head into my final midterms week it sure does sound tempting.
Tempting as it may sound, I know that I couldn’t live with myself if I gave my classes anything but my all. That’s been my attitude since day one, this week is not the week to change it. So, here’s a bit of advice from me to you on how to survive the week.
1. Take a coffee break.
If you’re hitting the books hard, odds are your brain could use a couple minutes to recharge. I know plenty of people who get in the zone and deprive themselves of things like food or coffee. I know it feels like every second of studying is vital, but going without isn’t going to do your brain any favors.
2. Sleep at least a little.
I know the odds of getting enough sleep during midterms week are slim, so I’ll just urge you to sleep when you can. Like I said before, pushing your brain and your body too far will come back to bite you. I’ve only had one B in my college career (yeah, I’m that kid), and I got that B because I barely slept at all in days leading up to my final in my basic marketing management class.
The day of my final, I woke up 10 minutes into the exam to the realization that I’d slept through all of my several alarms. I made it from my apartment at Bengal Creek to the business building in five minutes. I literally ran across the quad in the clothes I slept in, no contacts in, hair undone, makeup from the day before still smeared across my face with nothing but a pencil in my hand. My professor kindly still allowed my to take the exam when I burst into the door gasping for breath, but I was too shaken up to remember a thing. It was not a high point in my college career.
3. Make checklists.
I love lists. I’m lost without them. I find it makes things feel a little less overwhelming if they can be broken down into little boxes you can check off when they’re finished. You can put “drink 10 cups of coffee” on your list if you need to.
4. Study buddies can save your bacon.
This is the only way I made it through my statistics class. Form a study group with some classmates and go through the material together. If one of you doesn’t understand something, maybe someone else can explain it and in turn you can explain the part you understand. Plus, you can all wallow in your misery together. It’s somehow more satisfying than wallowing alone.
5. Remember it’s all going to be okay.
We’ve all had bad exams (see the story of my marketing final above). If midterms don’t go the way you wanted them to, use that as a reason to start working harder in your classes. The more work you put in now, the less stressful finals will be (at least that’s what I’m telling myself). There’s still plenty of time to compensate as best you can by knocking everything else you can out of the park. After all, we’re only halfway through the semester.