College Diaries: Surviving Midterms & Staying Calm

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Happy March! For us college bloggers, there are only a few more months left before we can have an entire uninterrupted summer catching up on reading -- but for now, we have to deal with hard work and things like midterms. Which is what today's College Diaries topic is -- surviving midterms and staying calm while doing so! (And yes, even finding some reading time throughout it all!)

Okay. I'm going to start off by being honest here. I had no midterms this semester. My friends here did, so it's not like my school doesn't do them, but for some reason, I ended up having none. Which I know I am so lucky for, but I've still dealt with midterms for three semesters in the past, so I'd like to think that my advice is still valid here. (Warning: Workaholics like myself definitely won't enjoy the advice I'm about to offer up here.)

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My biggest piece of advice for people that are struggling through midterms is, contrary to popular relief, to relax. We all know that running yourself into the ground is no way to study -- for midterms, or for anything else. I'm in no position to tell anyone what is the best way to do something, since everyone studies differently, but I'm going to give a little advice based on the successful methods I've been using.

For starters: Study either during the day or at night, but not during both periods. Studying for an entire 24 hours will not, sadly, help you retain the material. It will make you stressed and tired and cranky, and possibly even sick. I wake up early, head to the library and hole myself up in there all day studying, and around dinnertime I pack up, grab something to eat, come back and shower and do a face mask and watch Netflix for a little bit, and then I read before bed. I've done it both ways, and I've realized that at night I tend to be more tired and focus less. So I've learned that I do best when I study during the day, and then give myself time to relax at night. That way, I wake up the next day well rested, relaxed, and ready to tackle another day of studying!

Also: Study breaks are incredibly important! Whether for 10 minutes or an hour, giving yourself a little break from staring at your screen/books is a relief both for your eyes and for your brain. You can stagger your breaks -- sometimes I'll take a 45-minute break to grab lunch, and other times I'll take a 5-minute lap around the floor of the library to stretch my legs and just give my brain a little reprieve. Breaks help motivate you to get more work done during the study sprints (just like writing sprints, which I highly recommend!) -- it's more productivity, plus more time to relax afterwards! What's not to love about that?

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go do a face mask and reading for the night -- since I've been studying for a test of mine all day today! It's a little weird to say that my method for doing well on a test is NOT studying all of the time...but hey, that's just me. It works out well for me, but maybe not anyone else. But you'll never know until you try!

So, those are my thoughts on surviving midterms! If you're in high school or college, what's your advice? Comment down below -- I'd love to hear it!

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