Midterm season can be an extremely stressful time, especially if this is your first experience with it. For most, midterms seem to come out of nowhere and force us to break out of the bad habits we fell into this September. Here I present some tips to help motivate you to get back into the grind and be the student you want to be.
Keep technology far, far away
It’s the easiest thing to do. Picking up your phone when you have downtime only to realize you just spent an hour on Instagram or online shopping for items you can’t afford. This year make a pact with yourself that you will not get lost in the endless entertainment the internet has to offer. Choose to instead focus more energy on getting stuff done. Because that sleepy, unfocused feeling you have after staring into a bright screen for too long will interfere with whatever work you’re planning to do after.
When you have free time in-between or during classes, fight your instincts to grab that phone and instead focus on lecture or try to do something productive. Another good time to keep your phone away is at night. Being on your phone will make you stay up later and lessen your quality of sleep. As we are college students, sleep is one of our most sacred activities so don’t mess it up for yourself by snapchatting all night.
Another good reason to keep your phone far away when it’s late is when your alarm goes off you have to stand up and walk over to shut it off. This is a good way to wake yourself up, especially when you trip over all the stuff you have laying around your floor on the way to the alarm. Your roommate will also be grateful they didn’t have to be woken up to the shrill beat of their alarm, but instead to the sound of your body hitting the floor and the grunt or two that follows.
Create a schedule
One of the best things you can do to stay organized—and therefore sane—is to plan out your days. This is especially helpful if you are involved in activities outside of your classes, because your schedule will probably be a little hectic. It’s important to make sure you’re not spreading yourself too thin and that you give yourself time to get all your school work done at the quality you want.
So buy a planner or make a spreadsheet on your computer, that way you will always have your schedule with you. If you have a routine, you will get more done in a more timely fashion. Your mind and body will thank you for the stress you’re avoiding by staying on top of deadlines and meetings you need to attend.
Prepare the night before
We all have those days where we become a little too friendly with the snooze button and sleep in way too late. These are the days we end up rushing to class without a shower, in our pajamas, feeling less than ready to start the day. Some of this hurt can be easily avoided by preparing for the day ahead, the night before.
This can entail anything from setting out your clothes to programing your coffee pot to automatically brew your cup at a certain time in the morning. Whatever your morning routine is, if you can get it ready the night before, do it. It’s way easier at night than it is when you’re half awake in the morning.
This tip is most encouraged for new students, but can also be useful to returning students who are living in a new dorm or apartment this year. Get to know your surroundings by exploring the areas around you. Finding a spot that you like is really important this time of year. It’s so much easier to study successfully if you are able to find a place you feel comfortable and focused. So get out of your room and look around; you never know what great space you may find.
Eat breakfast and keep snacks handy
Breakfast may or may not be the most important meal of the day, but it’s the most important meal in order to slay. If you want to have enough energy to stay awake in class and finish all the work you need to get done that day, eating breakfast is one of the best things you can do. Walking around campus and long lectures can be draining, so keep snacks in your backpack or put a couple dollars on your Wiscard so you will be able to get that energy boost whenever you need it. There’s nothing worse than that loud growl your stomach makes just as your class quiets down.