Ah, midterms. The best part of the year. If you’re an evil professor who likes to see college kids suffer, that is. Midterms are without a doubt the second most stressful time of the year for most college students (as far as I can tell).
I say second worst because Hell Week comes at end of the term bringing with it finals galore. Luckily, with both, there is a break to look forward to but the week leading into that break can be torture if you don’t know what to do.
I’m a fairly lucky fellow and know what to do, and you being the lucky reader have somehow found this information.
1) Find somewhere to study.
Dorms have a tendency, even with exams and essays abounding, to be rather noisy. With everyone on a different schedule, people tend to go a little nuts when they don’t have anything due the next day. So find somewhere quiet.
The lobbies are usually good, although they can get a little distracting with all the people around, and it’s tempting to fall into the trap of being social when you need to be studious. There’s also The UnderGround, but it poses the same issues. There are constantly people walking through there and it can be easy to fall into the temptation of striking up a two-hour conversation with some friends.
Thus, in my opinion, the best place to go is the library. Here on campus we have a pretty amazing library with desks all around, if that floats your boat. They also have things called study carrels. These are small rooms, fairly soundproof, that you can go in and be completely isolated.
Put some music on, pull up Word and hack out that five-page essay in no time. There’s also the computer lab where you can go if you don’t have a computer, your computer breaks, or for some reason you just really like the smell of 30 computers on at the same time.
2) Find someone to study with.
I know it sounds contrary to the idea that you don’t want to be social but if you both agree to get work done, it can be the best way to study. Be it your friend, significant other or just someone from class, find someone to study with and bounce ideas off of, and studying can become instantly more fun. It can go a surprising amount quicker.
3) Eat and sleep.
Even with all the studying and essay writing and presentation preparing, make sure you save time for the essentials. You don’t have to be three meals a day but your body doesn’t work well when you’re hungry, and the concept of brain food is actually quite true.
Sleep is essential to test taking. Don’t overstudy or cram the night before. You won’t remember most of it, and you’ll just be tired for your test, which can add a lot more stress. Just make sure you don’t overstress to the point where you start giving up the things that help you the most.
4) Find some time to relax.
Don’t wait till the last minute to do all your work. Space it out, find some time to relax and have a little fun here and there.