Dottie here! I cannot believe it’s already the middle of the semester. It seems like this semester has just flown right by (no bird puns intended). And although the middle of the semester happens to be the most fun with holidays like Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas, every Hokie knows exactly how stressful it is at the same time. Exam after exam, paper after paper, assignment after assignment; let’s be honest, fellow Hokies: midterm week is brutal. However, I like to try and stay positive; it makes midterms a little bit more manageable. So, to help you guys out, I’ve put together a list for surviving midterm week.
- Time Management
I’m sure you’ve heard time and time again, “Make sure you manage your time wisely.” But it’s true, folks. The more time you allot to studying, the better chances you have of genuinely learning something. Fun fact: it’s been proven that cramming actually forces knowledge out of long term memory, and only stores new information in short term memory. So, the more you cram, the less you’re likely to remember things later on. If you have an exam, try to give yourself at least three study days. That way, you can reread old material, rewrite or go over notes, and create a study guide to go by.
- Flash Cards
One of my favorite ways to study is by using flash cards. Not only do you have to rewrite the information on an index card, but you get to read it and answer it aloud as well. This tactic hits almost every single learning style. You rewrite the information, read the question, answer the question out loud, and then read the answer. Flash cards are a great way to learn, especially if you have a key-terms section on your exam.
- Treat Yo’self
One way to make yourself sit down is study is by creating a rewards system. For instance, if you get through three pages of notes, reward yourself with your favorite candy or a few minutes of your favorite show. Repeat this process until you’ve studied for an hour or two, or have gotten through a chapter. Once you’ve gotten to the end of the chapter, give yourself a big reward. When I get finished studying, I treat myself with the Hokie Pokie!
- Listen to Music
Some people have a hard time focusing when they try to study and listen, so it’s okay if this tip is not for you. However, listening to classical music has been proven to help a person remember facts. Every time I write flashcards, I listen to soft classical music. Then, when I go to study these flashcards, I put the same classical music back on. This helps stimulate my memory, and helps me learn a little better.
- Make time for You
One thing college students tend to forget is that it is okay to make time for yourself. It’s not good for somebody’s mental health to sit in a room all day studying. Go out and do something fun! Take a break and go bounce away at the new trampoline park in Christiansburg. Take your frustrations out on bowling pins. Go see a movie. Drown your midterm sorrows in ice cream. Try to spot my friend the Hokie Bird on campus. There’s tons of fun stuff to do to take your mind off studying for a while.
Overall, Hokies, midterms are survivable. Just take a deep breath and plan your time well. Think of it as the storm before the calm. As soon as midterms are over, you get to celebrate Halloween and Thanksgiving. Just make sure to avoid the turkey, friends! Get plenty of rest, plenty of study time, and plenty of you time as well. I know it seems impossible, but you can do it. I believe in all my fellow Hokies. Good luck, flock!