Categories: College Life

Feeling Stressed? Here’s How To Avoid A Midterm Meltdown This Spring

Midterms coming up fast? Papers and other assignments still do days away from midterm exams?! Here are some of the best ways to counteract that pre-midterm stress and not have a meltdown.

1) Forget About Midterms-For Now!

This seems redundant for dealing with a midterm I know. But trust me, the number one thing that is going to make you have a midterm meltdown is all the work surrounding your midterm. The best thing I can say to you is to start to pick up your other daily work. Work on your normal day to day classwork earlier, and turn it in sooner, a few weeks before your midterm starts to approach. This will set a good pattern for you to get everything else done quick, so you can solely focus on the midterm itself when it gets nearer. 

2) Get Organized

One aspect of preparing for a midterm I always struggled with, was checking ahead of time that I had all the notes and papers concerning the midterm material readily at hand. often time I would have to go digging deep into my notebook or folder to find that great worksheet that summarized a lesson really well. That’s why I strongly suggest doing this a few weeks in advance so you can hunt somebody else’s notes down or ask for another reference sheet from your teacher ahead of time. Studying can be awful hard if you don’t have the resources for it.

3) Stick To A Schedule

Like I referenced in the first tip when a midterm starts to come up, get your schedule set up nicely. Even if it’s just planning on going out on the weekends, start writing stuff down so you know exactly how much time each day you want to leave open for midterm prep work. My friends in college were notorious about dropping party hints the day they were happening, it gets old, quick. Hunt your friends down and ask them if they even have an inkling about doing something over the weekend. That way you don’t have to choose to study over a get-together, cause we know that choice probably won’t hold up.

4) Know Yourself

I mentioned this in another article not too long ago when it came to self-discipline. It’s like when we used to say in high school “yeah I’ll just finish my homework in the morning”. There’s no way all of you who said that can tell me you got that done well every time. Know when you do your best work and when you tend to get antsy and distracted. You can’t force yourself to change the entire time a midterm starts coming through, it just won’t work. So figure out when your zone kicks in for studying and working and plan accordingly.

5) Find Your Zone

Besides just the time of day when you feel you can really crank some midterm prep out, consider the area that you are in where this work is happening. I know after a while my dorm room felt like a tomb after a long working session or studying period. And that is absolutely demoralizing. Go to the library or eat some snacks in the Caf and work if you can stay focussed. Make the time yours, and it won’t feel like such a hassle anymore, I promise.

6) Give Yourself Rewards

Whether it’s splurging a little off-campus or order that pizza you’ve been thinking about the past couple days, give yourself rewards for working on midterm prep. This is a time at college where stress is high and people get all kinds of angsty. Keep things cheery with rewards and make each studying session an accomplishment worthy of a little gratitude to yourself.

7) Be An Opener

If you’re somebody who does well in study groups be the opener that gets those groups going. Sometimes people can be very hesitant about stuff like this. But hey misery loves company and more often than not, the one thing everyone is struggling on in a lesson, there’s one person in there that gets it no problem while struggling with everything else. Do the right thing and trade info so everyone can get a nice well-rounded understanding of the content.

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8) Get The Scoop from Your Professor

Ask questions! I can’t say it enough when midterms start to roll around. Ask about any papers or other assignments that are going to be due just before the midterm, and knock those things out so you’re not trying to juggle everything. And this goes for every class, even if there isn’t a midterm in one of them. You want absolute control of all the time in the last week before the midterm so that you can prepare at your best possible mentality.

9) Give Yourself A Day Before

A day before the midterm I want you to focus on anything specific you need to cover for studying. If you’ve been studying prior, then there’s no need to pull an all-nighter cram session before the midterm. Which is not saying I haven’t done before, I was one of those people for the longest time. But at that point, you’re only going to retain so much information and you’re mainly going to accomplish the midterm because of things you just remember from class time anyway.

10) Relax

Easier said than done, I know. But the beauty of a midterm or any major project is the time walking to class just before the midterm. This is when I want you to be breathing and not thinking much at all. Know that no matter what, this is it, you’re going in there and in an hour or a few, this will be done. One way or another. Do your best, don’t try and blow through it and know that you made it.

Some of these tips help you keep your cool around midterms? Let me know in the comments below and how you implemented them in your schedule. We all go through midterms, and we could always use some more advice to keep things easygoing. Good Luck!

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Bryan Jack

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