We've all been there: you've got three midterms this week, two papers due, a lab report to write, an oral presentation… the list is endless. You barely have time to eat, and let's not forget that you haven't gotten more than four hours of sleep these past couple of nights. You're cranky, overwhelmed — you might even be considering dropping out of college altogether. Well, that was me this past week, but I'm happy to say I got through my first round of midterms with only a few mental breakdowns and a LOT of chocolate. Here are the top nine things I did while I avoided studying this past week.
1. Rant to my roommate
This year, I'm lucky enough to be rooming with my best friend from elementary school. She's endlessly supportive and always up for late-night rants. I feel a lot of pent-up rage during midterm season ("Professor X didn't even finish the material for the exam!"), so complaining to my roommate lets me release some of my anger.
2. Listen to loud music
Sometimes, I'll zone out when I'm studying until I realize I've been rereading the same line about neurons and microglia for the past hour. Whenever that happens, I go on Spotify, put my headphones in, and blast my music. Loud music lets me escape from my stress for a while and tune everything out.
I'm obsessed with Liane Moriarty's writing, so I immediately jumped on "Big Little Lies" when the book was adapted into a TV show. Even when I should be studying for an exam, it's so tempting to pull out my phone and watch just five minutes of the show. The problem is that those five minutes tend to turn into 50 minutes, and then I'm scrambling to catch up on all the work I ignored.
4. Munch on junk food
I use eating as an excuse to take a break and step away from my studies. Of course, I can snack while I study (I've eaten full meals while studying before), but I like to pretend that I won't be able to focus if I multitask. My go-to midterm week snacks are Ferrero Rocher chocolates and pizza-flavored Goldfish.
5. Call my mom
My favorite thing about dorming is having friends and family that are scattered all over the country. I love calling my mom when I'm stressed because she always has a dramatic story to tell me, whether it's about how my aunt complains too often or how my sister stays out too late. Her stories take my mind off of my studies, at least momentarily.
6. Reorganize my closet
Disorganization bothers me when I'm studying, probably because the information in my brain feels so jumbled and I hate seeing physical manifestations of my inner chaos. To distract myself from schoolwork, I'll typically rearrange my closet and dresser so that my clothes are folded neatly and are hanging in color order.
Cleaning is incredibly cathartic for me, whether it's vacuuming my room or doing some laundry. It goes back to the idea of chaos — I might not be able to organize the information I'm learning, but I can at least control one aspect of my life.
8. Practice my backbend
I get a strange urge to work on my flexibility when I study, whether that's through practicing my backbend or trying to do the splits. Before an Orgo exam, you'll usually find me on a yoga mat in my room, trying not to break my back as I bend over.
9. Contemplate changing majors
During midterm week, my search history gets clogged with "SBU ___ major" as I try desperately to escape my current stress. This week, my most common searches were accounting, political science, and philosophy.