Beware: midterm season is approaching!

How is it March already? It seems like we just started school and yet, we’re already at the halfway point of the semester. The homework is piling on and instructors are ready to test us on what we’ve learned up so far. This marks a stressful test that most of us have to endure: the midterm!

Midterms are indeed scary, because they can be weighed heavily on your final grade. If you’re worried about passing your midterms, here are a few unconventional coping mechanisms to get your mind on track.

Study outside

Usually when we’re in the midst of a hardcore study sesh, we tend to stay in one spot for hours, hunched over a desk. After a while, your body will start to feel drained or like it needs a break. When you really need to study, there isn’t a whole lot of time to take a break. To overcome that slump in studying, grab your backpack and head to a table outside! The movement and change of scenery is bound to perk you up, at least a little bit. Then, you can continue your studies in a refreshing environment.

Record yourself

If you have a ton of vocabulary words or concepts to remember, say the term or concept out loud and then verbally describe it. Record yourself saying those concepts and then you can play it back later on. This is great when you’re tired of reading, taking notes or talking, because you can still study without focusing on anything. You can listen to the recording while you’re running errands or cleaning, but I find the recording method is most effective if played as you are falling asleep. When you wake up, it’s like the information is freshly engraved in your mind!

Give yourself rewards

When working so hard to get a good grade, you deserve to treat yourself! This could be done in any form that best suits you: giving yourself a five-minute break, DoorDashing yourself a milkshake, knowing you’re going out with your friends right after you finish your test – you name it. The rewards can be big or small, but what’s important is that you are kind to yourself and notice your personal achievements, no matter what grade you get on that midterm. If you’re taking a lot of time to study, chances are you’ll do great anyways.

We know you’ll drink caffeine, but be careful

First of all, any coffee product is safer for your heart and body over energy drinks. I know coffee isn’t for everyone because it can cause tummy problems, but energy drinks have tons of sugar and will make you crash harder than a cup of coffee! If you are consuming any caffeine products in large quantities, try to simultaneously drink lots of water. It’ll give your brain lots of oxygen to keep it running sharply, while also cutting back on the jitters you might be getting from the caffeine and lessens your chances of having a caffeine/sugar crash. If you’re really sensitive to caffeine but need a pick me up, try some green or black tea. They’re lower in caffeine than coffee and energy drinks, but will still wake you up. If you’re a coffee lover, order a double shot of espresso on ice. It’s going to have an intense flavor, but it’s low in calories, has no added sugar (which makes you crash hard) and its coolness will make you even more awake.

Don’t let test day nerves control you

Sometimes, the fact that you’re taking a test alone is what makes you forget the answers for it. Knowing it’s important to your grade and shapes how the rest of your semester will go are valid reasons to be nervous, but try to take a few minutes before your test starts to take a few breaths. Remind yourself you studied hard and you’ve got this. Say it to yourself in the mirror. Hype yourself up! You’re going to do great on those midterms.

When in doubt, remember, you’re going to knock these midterms out!

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