Categories: Campus Life

10 Things You Need On Your Desk While Studying For Midterms

Studying for midterms is no fun task. In order to be productive and effectively study, it helps to have a study space that you’re comfortable and feel good in. Here are some things that you should have on your desk or in your study space while you’re prepping for midterms that will help you keep up productivity and be more motivated.

A cup of coffee

This one is a no-brainer. A little caffeine can go a long way, especially if you know you’re going to have a late night studying and working. Something about having a cup of coffee just makes me feel more productive. The feeling of “okay, I got a coffee, now I need to be productive with it” has always helped to motivate me to work. Especially because if you have to go out to get coffee, I feel like I need to make up that time that I missed by studying a bit more. You can go out and grab a coffee, or you can make a coffee from home! Either I think will do the trick.

A bottle of water

Just as important as a cup of coffee, it’s important that you’re staying hydrated with water. When you’re really busy staying focused on your studies for a midterm, you can easily forget to keep drinking water and staying hydrated. By keeping a bottle of water on your desk, you’ll always kind of have it in your sights, and will hopefully remember to drink it a bit more often. One thing you can also do if set up a reminder on your phone or computer to remind you while you are working in intervals to stay hydrated. By not being hydrated, it can easily catch up with you after a few hours of studying, and you may feel sluggish or not at your best. Beat this by staying hydrated!


When studying for your midterm, it’s important not only that you are fueled with water and adequate drinks, but also with snacks that you enjoy and can look forward to throughout your studying. These should also be a variety of healthy and sweet, because while studying for a midterm isn’t fun, your snacks should be! Keep things on your desk like chips, fruit (although some fruit is probably best refrigerated), and cookies so that in the case you get a little munchy, you can just grab a bit of a snack and keep working. 

Fun colored pens

Your notes for your midterm may not be very appealing to look at. Make them more fun by re-writing them in fun colors! Re-writing my notes is one way that I study effectively, and with the assistance of fun colored pens, you can coordinate topics, ideas, etc. by color and style. Not only do you feel so much more productive and coordinated with these colored pens, but you also are effectively studying by re-writing the content and making connections between things while re-writing them. 

Blue light glasses

When it comes to anything online and work from home related, blue light glasses are a must. These glasses are typically prescriptionless (although I have seen websites where you can get them in your prescription) that block the blue lights that come out of our screens and harm our eyes. This often leads to headaches and fatigue. These feelings can easily make you no longer want to study, especially if you aren’t feeling your best, you likely won’t be able to retain information as well. I like to keep my blue light glasses on my desk while I’m studying for a midterm because I can take them on and off whether I am working on my computer, or if I am reading out of a textbook. 

A planner/to do list

A planner is a great resource to see a general overview of what you have going on, what other tasks you have to do outside of studying for the midterm, and you can effectively plan your studying based on what your schedule looks like. A to do list works similarly. You can get a general idea of all the things you have to do, and do them in an order that works for you and allows you to free up the most time. Another great way to aid you in studying for your midterm, similar to these things, is a concept list. It might be a good idea to have a concept list on your desk while you are studying so that you make sure you are hitting all the concepts that you have to, and you won’t miss anything. 


When it comes to your study space, you want it to be something that feels comfortable for you, and keeps you in a good head space. What’s a better way to do that than with photos of family, friends, pretty landscapes, animals, etc.! Hang up some photos around your desk for little reminders while you’re studying of things that make you happy and you enjoy.

See Also

Not your phone

One thing that I think should NOT be on your desk while you are studying for a midterm is your phone. Or at least, not the whole time. For little intervals of times that you are trying to be extra productive, put your phone elsewhere in the room so you aren’t tempted to go on it and distract yourself. 


Plants are proven to make any space have better oxygen and better overall vibes! Plants are fun additions to any space, as they’re often something that you have grown yourself and have watched bloom, maybe! Keep some small plants on your desk for better vibes in your study space, and for some great photo ops even of your cute study space. 

Comforting things

In general, you should be comfortable while you are studying for a midterm so it doesn’t feel too much like a chore. Have a comfy seat cushion on your chair, and a blanket nearby in case you get chilly. You should also have a sweater nearby in case you need it, and maybe even a stuffed animal for fun!

What are you adding to your midterm study setup? Let us know!

Featured image courtesy
Ashley Anglisano

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