The College Girl's Guide: 5 Tips To Survive Midterm Month

October 10, 2016

College: Studying for Midterm Exams

If you're in college, you'll probably recognize October as the start of fall, but also the start of midterm month. It's the time when everything starts to get serious, because you realize you actually need to study and not watch Netflix all day. When you're in the midst of having to write three essays, study for four tests, and keep up with regular assignments, you may feel like the world is caving in. However, there are a few ways to stay sane until you see the light at the end of the tunnel.

1. Try as hard as you can to stay on track.
It may seem nearly impossible to finish all the tasks and homework you need to do, but keeping on schedule will stop you from getting behind, which will in turn lower your stress and raise your grades. If you're completing an assignment a few days before it's due instead of the night before, you'll have more time to do stress-relieving activities. To help stay on top of things during midterms, get an awesome planner like this one from ban.do.

2. Watch cute or relaxing videos.
If you've been studying for hours or just feeling down in general, take a break and find some videos to watch. My video of choice is cute animals, but recently I've been obsessed with baking, cookie decorating, and paint mixing videos (sounds weird, but is so cool). Be careful not to fall into a YouTube hole! Make sure to give yourself 5-10 minutes, and then get back to studying. Ideally let yourself study for 45 minutes to an hour, and then reward yourself with a small break. This will keep you focused, and is a helpful tip for any college-level studying.

3. Take a long shower.
After a late night of studying, don't let yourself collapse into bed immediately after you've finished. Let yourself have at least 10-15 minutes of steaming in a hot shower (or a bath). It will help loosen up your tense muscles, and give you a few minutes to think about things other than schoolwork before hitting the hay. Up your game by using a body wash or sugar scrub that you love. My current (and relaxing) favorite is Crabtree & Evelyn's Pear and Pink Magnolia Body Wash.

4. Treat yourself to your favorite (unhealthy) food.
Letting yourself have some ice cream or Doritos (my guilty pleasure) may give you some much-needed happiness in a seemingly never-ending series of tests and assignments. Don't let yourself have too much, however, because that will offset your health and have negative effects on your energy. Pay attention to serving sizes, or even try rewarding yourself with one chip or one M&M every time you read a page or get 10 flashcards correct.

5. Exercise & get enough sleep.
Speaking of health, you may think you need to stay up till the wee hours of the morning to finish all your midterm work, but it's much more important to get enough shut-eye so that you function properly during the day. In addition, you may think you don't have enough time to get in a 30-45 minute work out, but carving out a small portion of your day for a run, bike ride, or even just a long walk, will help you clear your head and have a better outlook on life.  If you follow #1, you'll have plenty of time for this. Bonus points if you exercise outside. Fresh air will help you realize that midterms are temporary, and they'll be over soon. Plus, this is the best time of year, so enjoy it!

What are your tips for surviving a stressful time like college midterms?

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