Since we’re in the thick of it with midterms, it’s easy to fall into a pattern of self neglect. We are the perpetrator and the victim of the carelessness surrounding ourselves. It is important to remember to also focus on preserving a positive mental state and overall wellness during this chaotic and stressful time. I know articles that concern the creation of a more positive atmosphere for yourself are normally filled with overused clichés and next to impossible advice for financially strained students who live on campus. Such examples include the classic “Take a bath”, “Light a candle”, or “Buy yourself an obnoxiously expensive coffee!”. Instead, here are some actually doable tips to help you deal with the stress management and to help you to still earn high marks on your midterm evaluations without burning a hole in your pocket.
Take a break. (I know a cliché already!) Seriously though, don’t be afraid to take breaks. Carve out some time for yourself from what feels like your mythically crazy schedule. You won’t be able to properly retain the information that you’re trying to remember if you aren’t fully in the headspace. Take some time for yourself to just relax.
Have some social interaction. Being crammed up in your room by yourself all day is not only bad for your health and wellness, it’s also bad for your studying. Try studying with others, whether they are a friend or even an acquaintance from class. Share ideas, quiz each other on terms and exchange notes.
Sleep. Did you know that while teens and young adults need 8 hours of sleep per night, less than half of North American teens and young adults report getting it? I mean you’ve probably heard that. It’s a pretty popular statistic, however it’s completely true. This study also doesn’t even take into account the stress of university midterms, which probably greatly cuts into that estimated time frame. This lack of sleep results in less information retention, mood swings and high blood pressure. So the next time you’re thinking of pulling an all nighter for your exam tomorrow, reconsider.
Get some fresh air and go for a walk around campus. McMaster is beautiful this time of year. Take in the scenery and get some light exercise while doing it.
If it’s not already, clean up your study space. Clutter can be a huge distraction for many people especially while they need to focus. A neat workspace can go a long way. Also, if you’re living with a roommate, tidying up is the courteous thing to do. So take the time to organize your things before you dig into your cramming.
Remember to maintain your hygiene. Even though this one may seem obvious, it’s easy to get lazy with it especially while living away from home. Remember to shower, and keep up with your laundry. These things are critical not only to your physical health, but also to your emotional wellbeing.
Check in at home. Your parents, siblings, or friends from home can be your biggest motivators. Check in with them for a short chat, if you’re feeling down or out of it. I’m sure they will be able to help alleviate any anxiety you have surrounding your midterms.
I hope these tips are able to help get you on the right track during exams. Study hard, and good luck!