With the school year under way and events like Homecoming and Halloween right around the corner, it’s no surprise that agendas and to-do lists are overflowing. Don’t let the stress of midterms get you down. The fall season is too beautiful to sweat the small stuff.
1. Plan accordingly. I’m guilty of procrastinating and waiting until the last minute to make study guides…and I’m sure I’m not the only one. But planning out your week in advance with just an hour or so each day to study will save you stress and makes leeway for things that pop up unexpectedly. You can use your phone, tablet, laptop, or my personal favorite, a good old-fashioned agenda to keep track of your schedule.
2. Eat, sleep, exercise. Eat healthy, whole meals. Don’t over caffeinate yourself (yes, even those pumpkin spice lattes will take their toll). Get 7-8 hours of sleep and stay active. It seems simple, but when you get caught up in the chaos of midterms, a lot of people tend to forget to take care of themselves. Your body needs all of these to perform at its best.
3. Take a break. “Take a break? Are you kidding? I only have 2 more days until this midterm and there’s no way I’m going to pass if I don’t keep studying.”
There is such a thing as burnout, and your mind and body will slowly become less productive if you don’t give studying a rest. Watch a movie, grab frozen yogurt with a friend, or sign up for a yoga class. You don’t have to take a vacation, but just stepping away from the books for a bit will only benefit you.
4. Listen to music. Having been involved in my university’s College of Music for 4+ years, I can tell you with certainty that having music playing softly in the background while studying alleviates anxiety and improves your brain’s retention and attention capabilities. Instrumental genres like classical or jazz are great for studying, but feel free to have a dance party break with the Top 40, too. Check out these articles for more. http://www.livescience.com/7950-music-improves-brain-function.html http://www.cnn.com/2013/04/15/health/brain-music-research/
5. Talk to your professors. It seems daunting, especially if you’re part of a bigger class, but taking time to meet with your professor during his/her office hours (or even via e-mail) is a great way to discuss topics you may be unsure of. Be prepared with questions that you feel are relevant to the midterm and if you have any writing pieces to submit, chances are they’ll be willing to look them over and make suggestions. More often than not, your professor will be more willing to help you out when they see you making an effort.
Best of luck to all of you!
Find me on Twitter: @kelandra_