Mid(term) Life Crisis

Jaylon Brooks

The season of midterms can be an incredibly stressful time for students, coming up seemingly out of nowhere and requiring a lot of time to prepare. Many students find it difficult to balance their normal workload and finding time to study for mid-terms, while still making themselves available for social events. Often, this results in burnout as students try to tread water and pass their exams.

“I see students who look more tired, not as put together, and a lot more people than usual choosing to use their free absences,” stated Sabrina Horn, GC professor of philosophy and liberal studies. It doesn’t have to be this way, however. There are many methods students can use to keep their sanity while preparing for midterms.

First, students must prioritize sleep and decrease the number of all-nighters they pull on average. “Sleep is important for work productivity, and it helps with mental health so much,” stated Amy Sumpter, GC associate professor of geography. Many students think that they can just power through their exhaustion, but this only makes doing the work that much harder and take longer to finish.

Students should do their best to try and stay healthy during midterm season because getting sick would only be a setback. Catching a cold alone would impact a student’s overall mood and effect how well they study for up to a week.

Another helpful tip for students would be to devote time at the beginning of the semester to preparing for midterms. Devoting even a little bit of time early on could lead to less stress in the long-term. “The time to start preparing for midterms is the beginning of the semester, as planning ahead and doing more note-taking earlier can make this less painful,” said Horn. Many agree with this sentiment, like Preston Clarke, senior in mass communications who recommends that students prepare the whole semester leading up to midterms.

Students could also change the environment they typically study in to cut down on distractions and prevent them from zoning out. “I love studying in the library, it’s so nice and quiet, especially the 3rd floor,” said Sabrina Mosto, GC freshman nursing major. The many study rooms the library offers, empty classrooms, and Black Bird coffee shop are an example of good places students could go to revamp their routine.

Breaking up study times into short sessions, with mandatory breaks in between is another great way to destress. Setting a time limit for how long they’ll work on a particular assignment can help students deal with the stress of getting started. “It helps to think about the work in terms of time and not what you’re trying to accomplish,” said Sumpter.

Cutting down screen time before going to bed could help students fall asleep faster and sleep longer once they’ve finished working for the night. Blue light and the many general distractions from cell phones can disrupt sleep, making it harder to work the next day.

Another option for students is to spend some time talking with a friend. Rather than sending them a text on the phone, students should meet in person to chat about their problems or just to hang out.

Students also shouldn’t procrastinate, either with studying for midterms or when doing general assignments. It’s important to do this because it’d be bad to fall behind on assignments during this busy period. “Make sure you look at your syllabus and know when all your tests and midterms are going to be and make sure you spread it out, so you don’t have too many things due at once,” said Maura Foreman, GC sophomore and management major in the college of business.

Students should also try and create study guides of the material on midterms for themselves and avoid cramming the night before. Students need to take detailed notes and devote enough time to studying them in-depth. “You should really study ahead of time and don’t wait till the last minute, cramming isn’t good because you’ll get confused,” said Mosto.

It’s also good for students to eat something that’ll give them energy, either the night or morning before the test. It’s better to eat something nutritional to help with mental awareness rather than sugary snacks or fatty foods.

Regardless of the tips, how a student chooses to prepare or not to prepare for midterms, and the level of stress they endure depends entirely on them.

“What you put into school is what you’ll get out of it,” said Clarke.