Midterms: How to plan for two weeks of anxiety

Midterms: How to plan for two weeks of anxiety

In the midst of my fourth semester here at Loyola, I think I’ve finally narrowed down a plan to conquer midterm tests, papers and projects. Midterm week or weeks here at Loyola are not officially defined by the school but are defined by your professors. This can bring a flurry of misery for students. Some students complete all of their tests in one day while others have a lengthy schedule of tests day after day. But, Don’t panic! There are ways to conquer these trying times by a few simple steps.

Tip #1: Create a calendar

Most all of my professors create a syllabus and hand it to me on the first day of class. Commonly included in the syllabus are important dates such as dates of tests, midterms and large projects. If you have an academic planner or not, I advise you print a full calendar for the month with the most important due dates and tests. For spring it is usually the last few weeks of February and for Fall it begins around mid October. Post this calendar in a place you will see it everyday. It might help jog your memory or influence you to get some work done.

Tip #2: Prioritize

All of these important dates may be swirling around in your head like a storm but learn to diffuse those thoughts. Take one step at a time. For example, study for that upcoming test in three days as opposed to writing that paper due in two weeks. If you have two tests and a paper due in on day, like I did, create a study schedule.  Don’t devote an entire day to one subject but create a time to study each subject every day.

Tip #3: Schedule Study Breaks

Studying for four hours straight isn’t healthy. Your brain needs some time to time to relax here and there. Every half an hour of take a 5-10 minute break. Stretch, walk around the block, meditate, converse with a friend or watch a funny video. Giving yourself a break can do wonders for retaining a vast amount of information. If you study for too long of time increments, your brain will not retain the amount of information you desire.

Tip #4: Eat

Sometimes students get so flustered that they forget to eat. With time, they may get hunger headaches or obtain the inability to focus. Your brain needs power! Power comes with healthy and stimulating foods. If you feel too swamped to sit down and eat a regular meal, keep some healthy snacks around.


Most of my friends had midterms last week and are ready to celebrate their accomplishments with a shopping trip or a movie night. Some of your friends may try to persuade you to take a “study break” and go out for a night of dancing but in the back of your mind your conscience will tell you to study. Don’t be afraid to listen to this conscience! Your education comes first and there will be many other times to have a fun night with your friends. They will understand, if not now then later.

….Even if you have to spend 21 hours in Mundelein to finish an art project, the satisfaction is worth it.


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