I go to college on the East Coast and i'm originally from California. Fall break will be the first time I get to go home this year. I was smack in the middle of all of the excitement - on the phone with my parents, booking my ticket, and even arranging a ride from a family friend. I happily hung up the phone, everything seemed to be falling into place. Then a sense of panic overcame me. Here I was, thinking about going home in two short weeks when it finally clicked that mean midterms were just ONE.WEEK.AWAY.
If you're like me, you may feel like this is impossible. How it can possibly be midterms when I just picked up my last book a couple weeks ago. Am I even unpacked yet? It feels like we've just arrived and yet, we're almost halfway done with the semester.
Midterms are like pre-finals. A mini taste of what hell your finals week will be in December. Some classes weight their midterms almost as much or the same as the final. All your papers and tests are due in the same week. I suggest reminding yourself that after this week, you get to go home.
A quick side note: Being excited to go home does not equate to not loving your new college life. I love my life, my school, my friends, and my family. I wouldn't wish my life any other way. It is perfectly natural to want a week off of school in the comfort of your own home, family, and friends. Every week so far in college has been a great week overall, but midterm week is so much harder than the norm, that the want to go home is magnified by the stress and sleep deprivation. A positive to consider is that at least you won't have to study for midterms over your fall break.
You can try and prepare by saving up your meal points for coffee and stocking up on Monster and RedBull. Tutoring appointments will fill up, and fast so you might want to book those now if you feel you would benefit from them.
Test anxiety can skyrocket this time of year, especially for first-year students, who may be taking midterms for the first time. Despite common misconceptions, stress during these times can be beneficial. It increases your heart rate, and puts your body in the 'flight or fight' mode, ready to take on a challenge. The bad part comes in when the stress becomes excess, interrupting your focus, affecting the little sleep you do get, and just generally taking a toll. This will be counterproductive and lead to worse scores. When you feel your stress crossing that line, remember to take a couple hours for yourself and that your brain won't remember anything if it is too overloaded to function.
Hopefully, you return from fall break feeling refreshed, refocused, and ready to take on the rest of the semester. Besides, you have Christmas break to look forward to, just don't forget about finals week!