Picture this: it is one in the morning, and a student sits at a desk with fatigue overwhelming their body. While one hand is rewriting notes, the other is grabbing a snack. The student has not stood up in hours, and exercising is not in the realm of possibility. They take gulps of coffee, ignoring phone calls from friends and family. Midterms have arrived.
Although midterms are critical determinants to a semester grade, they should not impede our well-being. It is possible to academically succeed during this overwhelming time without sacrificing health, happiness and emotional well-being. To ensure mental and physical health, students should engage in these multiple approaches to avoid the negative consequences of midterms.
The first step to maintaining stability in health and happiness during this stressful period is by taking a proactive academic approach. Students must prepare in advance instead of content cramming. When exams seemingly arrive out of thin air, students are left with last minute preparations that often lead to stress and anxiety. To avoid this, students need to allocate multiple days to study, well in advance of the test. With early preparation, the night before the exam can be more relaxed and similar to a normal school night.
Students should also be methodical in their approach to studying. A 20-page document of notes can seem daunting. Chunking the class material into shorter, more manageable segments, however, can resolve the tension students may feel by allowing them to focus on one section at a time.
Utilizing your professors as resources is also extremely useful. Zachary Cuttito, an SU junior with midterm experience, said that office hours provide students with an opportunity to gain a better understanding of confusing content. “Go to the professor’s office hours with questions or concerns, and they will clear everything up,” he said. Getting extra help for clarity of content does not make us weak — it makes us proactive.
Additionally, during midterms, we must nourish to flourish. What we consume can impact our quality of study and performance, according to research published in the Healthcare (Basel) journal. When students undergo exam stress, overeating or undereating may become a way of coping. But if we maintain regular eating habits and eat healthy, nourishing meals, we can set ourselves up for academic success.
Maintaining normal eating habits is especially important during periods of high stress activity. “Glucose, obtained from food, is the primary source of energy for your brain. If you skip a meal, your brain will obtain less glucose, as a result, it experiences a shortage making you feel tired, moody, sluggish, and irritable,” an article from HealthCare atHome reads. Eating at properly spaced out times, ensures that we will have the energy to get through that whole study guide.
Just as we need to pay attention to what we put into our bodies, how we use them is of equal importance. During midterms, we should not neglect exercise. We can modify our workout routines to accommodate time for studying, but we should not completely ditch our exercise routines. Instead of going to the gym, you can also find alternatives such as taking the stairs or stretching in your room.
Lastly, social interaction should continue through midterms. Social interaction is beneficial to studying, as it gives us a break to clear our minds. To maximize time spent studying, we can sit in the same locations as our peers and work with them to break down class content. Spending time with friends permits emotional release that is much needed during midterm season.
Midterms should not jeopardize wellness. Through the incorporation of proactive, methodical approaches, students can experience less anxiety and an increase in confidence and overall success when it comes to midterms.
The tired student who is stress eating and neglecting to talk to their friends and family does not have to be you during midterms. You can be peacefully reviewing content with a friend after walking back from dinner. You can, and should, be healthy and happy.
Hannah Karlin is a freshman English major. Her column appears biweekly. She can be reached at [email protected].
Published on October 12, 2021 at 9:27 pm