How to Survive Midterm Season

Midterms are around the corner—if you haven’t already started them, that is. If you’re reading this, I’m assuming you’re in the same boat as me—procrastinating, looking for ways to relieve your midterm anxiety, or a healthy combination of the two. I probably don’t have any tricks up my sleeve that you haven’t heard of before, but I do have two degrees (and I’m working on a third), which means I’ve faced a midterm season or two in my day. Below is a list of things that have helped me combat the midterm scaries over the past few years. Whether you decide to take these tips to heart or are just mindlessly scrolling the internet to avoid studying, I wish you the best of luck in your midterms. You’ve got this!

Put your head down and study

Unfortunately, the best way to get through midterm season is to actually study. By studying in advance and dedicating the time to your given subject(s), you’ll relieve part of the stress associated with being tested. There’s no better feeling than looking at a midterm and knowing the answer to the question right away, however, there are no shortcuts. If you struggle with dedicating the time to studying, follow my next tips to help optimize your time.

Try the Pomodoro Technique

I only recently got into this technique after learning about it via YouTube, and I’m already in love. The Pomodoro Technique is a time management system that allows for a heightened state of focus. With this method, you’re supposed to break your study period into 25-minute chunks separated by five-minute breaks. After about four pomodoros, you’re meant to take a longer break of about 15 to 20 minutes. I love this technique and actually follow StudyMD videos to make it feel like I’m studying with someone—it helps keep me accountable!

Curate your environment

I like to study at the library or a cafe. I have a desk at home, but I know that I’m not productive there, so I don’t force it. Where do you feel like you can concentrate the best? Consider dedicating a safe space where your brain can associate it as a study space and a study space only. Like Pavlov’s dog, you’re more likely to get in a flow state with studying when your brain knows it’s working in a designated area for studying. 

Procrastination perfectly fine

To an extent. Every single one of us procrastinates—I mean, we’re only human! The most important part is to not get down on yourself and spiral into constant negative self-talk. Allow yourself to procrastinate, but try to do it in controlled manners instead of allowing it to rule your study habits. Practice setting a timer for your screen time, or opting for procrastinating in a way that will benefit your mental health—like going for a walk, going to the gym, making some good food, journaling, or dancing to your favourite music. I know it’s tempting to procrastinate with social media or binge-watching shows because it feels good in the moment, but try to empathize with your future self and foresee how distressed they might feel on the other side. 

If the stress is too much to handle and these techniques just aren’t working for you, we’re always here to talk! Book a vent session today.

  • Danielle Boucher

    Danielle is a freelance writer and editor based out of Ottawa. She is currently studying Publishing at Ryerson University and navigating her lifelong relationship with her mental health one day at a time.

    View all posts
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