Surviving midterms

By Layna Edington | 10/14/12 12:05pm

It is hard to believe we are already into week eight of the semester. While we are half way to the prize of Winter break, many of us still have the challenges brought by midterms in the week ahead. For those of you who have already completed all of your midterms, this post might not be much help now, but keep it in mind for finals. Here are a few tips for getting through the rough week you may be facing.

Get Enough Sleep
Sleep is vital to success in your studies. Sleep not only allows you the rest your body needs, but it also helps your academic performance. Let’s be honest, do you really feel better for trading sleep for a couple more hours in front of your books? Try to put the books down a little earlier and use the extra time you have to recharge before your early morning.

Stay Motivated and Productive
You are only helping yourself through studying if you are actually being productive. I know for me personally after a couple hours of studying I often find I am zoning out and my mind is in another place. That is when I know it is time to take a quick five minute break. I read a blog, check my phone, or do anything that does not focus on school. After the quick break I find myself more focused and ready to get back to work. These breaks help me power through the long days when I spend hours studying.

Use your Resources
The university has many different outlets to help students, and many of them can be very helpful during midterm exam week. The Writing Center, which I talked about in a previous blog post, is a great resource for midterm papers that need a little extra work. The Counseling and Career Development Center can help you if you need someone to talk to about stress and test anxiety, as well as help you find employment if you are close to graduation. Remember you can always talk to your professors, graduate program director, or the Office of Graduate studies if you have questions or concerns regarding your studies.

Have Something to Look Forward To
I always try to plan an event for the week after exams. Even if it is just going to see a movie with some friends, I need the motivation of something fun to get me through the hours upon hours spent in the library. Having an event waiting for you on the other side of your week will help you keep a positive attitude and make finishing the week all the more worthwhile.

Finally, Remember Why You Are Here
Speaking of worth it, we are all here because we want to learn and ultimately earn a degree. Keeping your goals front and center will help you study harder if you know what the end outcome will hold. For those of you who are fighting through your last set of midterms, perhaps ever, congratulations! You are almost there and with determination and hard work graduation will be here before you know it. For those of you who are a few more semesters away, the end is coming for you too, and while it does seem far away, you will make it!

I hope you found these tips helpful. Remember, if there is anything the Office of Graduate Studies can do to help, don’t hesitate to contact us. Follow us on Facebook for updates on what is going on around campus for graduate students!

Layna Edington
Graduate Student Association

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