Hey, YOU. Yes, you. Believe it or not, you can make it through midterms. I can imagine what all students must be feeling around this time: "I have 100 things to do but only time for 40;" "No matter how much I study I just won't do well;" "I've been studying since 8 a.m., I can't do it anymore, my brain hurts;" "Is it Friday yet?"
Don't worry, you're not alone. Students all over the country are cramming for midterms and drowning in stress. I'm here to tell you that I believe in you, and you can do it! Don't feel guilty for breathing instead of studying, or doing anything else but studying this week. You need a break. It's all about confidence and a positive attitude to get you through thoughts like, "This is one of two of my only tests in this class all semester... Let's hope I don't fail." Or, "If I don't have an A as my midterm grade I'll have to feel guilty about all the fun I let myself have at the beginning of the semester."
Take as long as you'd like to read this article and relax your mind as a much-needed study break.
You will not benefit at all from trying to cram everything in at once or having a panic attack because you don't understand something you're studying for a midterm tomorrow. Just sit there, take a deep breath, collect yourself and remember that you are smart. You are a college student! You've been in this class for more than 2 months — you can do this!
Trust me, it will do you no good to lock yourself in a room for eight straight hours to study, only taking small breaks to eat. This is not healthy! Your mind needs to time to relax and rejuvenate, so allot two to four hours study sessions at different times of the day to really grind and focus. You will retain information the best this way and won't burn yourself out before you even take the test. It won't benefit you either to try to cram in studying at every free moment you have throughout the day.
Get a good night's sleep.
Look how cute this baby is. He knows how to enjoy sleep. Don't plan to stay up until early hours of the morning, and then wake up at an early hour to get the most studying in possible. Get at least seven to eight hours of sleep every night to ensure the highest productivity. No one is enjoyable when they're cranky or grumpy, and this will especially will hinder your studying practices. It's just not worth it to run yourself so thin.
Remember to eat.
If you're relying on packaged and processed food at obscure times of the day and night to get you through this week, stop that right now. Wake up, drink a cup of water, eat a good and healthy breakfast, then rely on the caffeine that you think you need to get you through the day. Eat lunch. Don't skip because you're rushing to class or because you think you must be studying at this time. And eat dinner! A good healthy dinner will get you ready for a night of studying. Eating three solid meals a day with whatever healthy snacks you find you need throughout the day will keep you fully energized. And remember to hydrate, don't drown your body in soda or coffee.
You might think you have way too much schoolwork to do this week to go to the gym or go for a run that's a part of your normal, everyday routine. You're wrong. Exercising can be one of the best study breaks. Even for 30 minutes, get outside, go for a walk, walk somewhere 15 minutes away to a study spot, do something! You have the time, I promise. Exercising will relieve stress you have and get your mind and body energized to power through the week. Don't let the good fall weather go to waste. Five years from now you won't care that you got an A- on your philosophy exam instead of an A.
Surround yourself with good company.
One of the best things to make studying less awful is studying with buddies! Even if you aren't studying for the same thing, it's good to have support around to motivate you to keep going! Especially during your study breaks, grab a bite to eat with friends, go for a walk with friends, or just lounge around with your favorite people to remind you life is still nice and school isn't the only thing that matters.
School isn't the most important thing in life.
As an avid lover of education and hard worker, I know how hard it is to just stop and remember that school is not the most important thing in life. If you're putting in the effort and simply just trying your best, you will succeed and you will be happy. You don't need to kill yourself over one econ exam; it will not determine the outcome of your life. Only you can determine that, and it's up to you to focus on the most important things in your life that make you happy.
Good luck on midterm week!