Midterm madness: A guide to staying positive and productive this season

Midterm madness: A guide to staying positive and productive this season

The leaves are falling. The days are getting shorter. It rains almost every other day, and there is a feeling of “blah” among many of the students here on campus. That’s right: it’s midterm season.

Though no one enjoys midterms (or any sort of exams, for that matter), there is no need to panic. Follow these midterm season survival tips to make it out alive.

Take a break.

This is a common yet underappreciated tip. When you hit a roadblock in your studying, when there’s just one last math problem that you can’t get, when you still have 100 pages of “Heart of Darkness” to read: take a break. If you think about it, this tip is actually logical. You can’t accomplish anything by staring at your papers in frustration, so take a breather. Go for a short walk to refresh. Spend a few minutes watching some frivolous, funny Vines on YouTube. Even just get up from your desk and stretch. Activity and fresh air will re-energize you, and funny videos will heal your spirit.

Treat yourself.

After a long study session, reward yourself for staying focused and productive. This could be in the form of food, pampering yourself, or even watching a show on Netflix (but just one show, not an entire season). Put on a face mask after a long day or get your nails done over the weekend. You could also try a seasonal beverage to get into the happy vibes of fall. Warm apple cider, pumpkin spice lattes or hot chocolate are all good options.

Create a schedule.

Stress tends to creep in around midterms because students feel like they have too many things to do and not enough time to do them. To alleviate this stress, make a schedule of your week and mark off the time that you plan to study and review. Writing it down on paper will help you to stick to your word and figure out a good time.

Be mindful.

Another method to relieve stress is to practice mindfulness. Although this is a common tip, few actually follow it. Some students believe that it can be challenging to start a mindfulness practice in the midst of exams, but even just reciting an inspiring, empowering mantra to yourself can be helpful. Additionally, mindfulness is often a part of yoga classes, and there are several on-campus yoga classes that students can attend. Bodywise offers yoga on Monday, Thursday and Friday, and Counseling and Mental Health Services offers classes on Thursdays starting at 11 and 12:15 in Arjona. Another benefit to yoga is the chance to stretch yourself out after staring at a laptop screen all day.

Be kind.

It’s a busy season, and students will be frantically rushing to get everything done. Everyone’s in the same boat. Keep this in mind and offer someone kindness if you can. Hold the door open and allow others to walk through first, help the student who spilled his papers in the hallway, even just compliment your friend on her nice outfit. A little kindness truly goes a long way and will brighten up a stranger’s day (and yours!).


Stephanie Santillo is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at stephanie.santillo@uconn.edu.