Five Pro Tips on Surviving Midterms

By: Treyson Dume, reporter for Gaia Chronicles

Midterms are fast approaching and have already started to take the sanity of many victims, but I’m here to help you hold your ground and stave off the dreaded assault of ‘midterm stress.’

Many of you have likely already witnessed the effects that midterms, or just school in general, can have on a person’s psyche. I’ve succumb to the sanity-draining effects these exams can have on you myself. At some point, likely around 2:30 a.m., I remember breaking down before an exam and pouring my heart out to my cat over a gallon of ice cream. Midterm-induced stress is never pretty; however, I’ve compiled five foolproof suggestions to prepare you for your midterm (don’t worry, studying’s not on this list).

1)  Get to Know your Profs

Your professors are just human (most of them anyway). Try having a conversation with that scary tactics professor and she’ll probably seem less intimidating. By talking to your instructors, you not only break down those intimidating barriers, but you can also learn some tricks of the trade. Your professors are teaching you these things because they’re practically masters of these subjects.

2)  Avoid Ordering that Pizza

Studies have shown that pizza is a very common comfort food, but it’s not the best choice out there. This is a world rich in variety when it comes to food, so why are you still falling on old traditions? Several studies show that healthier options are actually better for reducing your stress. Try looking at this article (http://goo.gl/xX1rUZ) if you’re looking for some ideas. Put down the greasy slices and get a nice spoonful of fruit salad.

3)  Get Super Prepared

So many times I’ve shown up to an exam and had to borrow a pen, calculator, eraser, stapler, shorts, sword, and kitchen sink. If you’re trying to rid your worries and get some restful sleep then pack everything you could possibly need and more the night before. Grab 17 pens, 40 pieces of paper, five calculators, and two of anything else you can think of. Making sure you have everything packed away the night before clears up some clutter in your brain so you can get well-rested (or focus on the last minute cramming, whichever you prefer).

4)  Show No Fear

I know this one seems a lot easier said than done, but if you can pull it off it works great. In my days of training I had a sensei tell me that I need to work on my confidence, or I would keep failing. After one of the sessions I approached him and asked him how someone can just get confidence (see tip #1). He told me that the easiest way to get confidence is to just fake it until it manifests on its own. This seemed like a strange idea, but I tried it. As I started to be more aware of my lack of confidence, I started to make a conscious effort to appear braver by not crossing the street when I saw a group of teenagers, or not talking into my hands on that first date. Eventually, by putting out the image of confidence I started to internalize the concept and it started to show in my training. So when you’re imagining yourself taking that exam and break out into a cold sweat, take a minute to compose yourself. Wipe the sweat of your brow, puff out your chest, and smile to yourself because you know you’re going to show that exam who’s boss. Just go here (http://goo.gl/Jrh5zt) if you need some help looking more confident (note: this article is for confidence in general).

5)  Party Hard, but Not Too Hard

Take some time for you. I’m sure your pending exams seem like the be-all-end-all of the world right now, but they’re not. Your exams will come and go without so much as a second thought to you. These exams are important, but so are you. Take a night off and go out with your friends, or binge watch “Friends” reruns on Netflix, or whatever your choice of pleasure is. By doing something you enjoy, you’ll give your body and mind a chance to refresh and come back to your pre-exam game stronger (assuming you remembered the ‘not too hard’ part).

Midterms are just a part of the academic life, but stress doesn’t have to be. These amazing tips aren’t the only ones out there to help prevent the dreaded sane-drain of exams. Let me know what other techniques you’ve used to slay the midterm dragon.

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