Tips to Surviving Midterms

I am Gabriella DiCorato a Peer Advisor and a Junior here at the University at Albany majoring in Psychology with minors in Biology and Neuroscience.

 

It’s no secret, it’s not syllabus week anymore, you can barely find time to brush your hair let alone study for all of your upcoming exams. Midterms are upon us and the key to getting through midterms is, DON’T PANIC. Here are some tried and true steps to making it through the upcoming few weeks:

  1. Know how to use Quizlet: I don’t know about you but my hand cramps up after filling in a scantron let alone writing out countless flashcards. Don’t get me wrong if writing them out helps you memorize them better that’s great, but quizlet is a great (and free) tool that lets you test yourself on flashcards helping a great deal with studying. Quizlet even lets you share your flashcards with friends making study groups even easier to navigate.
  2. Don’t Procrastinate: Planning out your week, knowing when you’re going to study for which exam helps alleviate a great deal of the inevitable midterms stress. Doing a little at a time over the course of the week is going to be much more beneficial than a late night cramming session the night before the exam, trust me, I’ve tried.
  3. Find a Study Space: The great part about the University at Albany being huge, is that there are countless places to find a spot to study that don’t include your room. The library most notably, with various levels of noise throughout so you can adjust to your study needs. There is also the Science Library closer to Indian Quad with the same different levels of noise and in both libraries there are “Group Study” rooms that only need the swipe of your SUNYID to rent out for a few hours. Group study rooms are a great tool if you don’t like to study alone. Grabbing a few friends and hitting the books or grabbing your study group helps you to focus on the task at hand. There is also the option of the new Massry Center for Business located right near Collins circle that has the option of the Standish living room, a more relaxed and cozy atmosphere to study in, grab a coffee and your laptop and get down to business (no pun intended).
  4. Take a Break: While you’re planning out when you’ll be studying for these tests, make sure to allow time to relax and bring the focus back to you. Studying 24 hours a day is going to burn you out, take a nap, go get some food with friends, take a walk around campus, hit the gym (there are also fitness classes like yoga, spinning and insanity hosted in the phys-ed building). There are a multitude of things to do to keep your sanity during busy midterms. Usually the University hosts therapy dogs throughout the year during stressful times for students, so follow @UAlbanyGo on Instagram or twitter or keep your eye out for therapy dog sessions throughout the week (also while you’re at it, follow your Peer Advisors @ASCPeerAdvisors for registration updates and reminders). A few events coming up next week that you should take the time out to attend are:
  5. Tuesday, October 18th, 2016, 7:00-9:00 pm “Munch with your Major” will be hosted in the Campus Center Ballroom. “Munch with your Major” is an event that allows students to explore their major or minor, connect with faculty and staff and learn about coursework, research opportunities, career paths etc. Additionally there will be food, desserts might I add, as well as opportunities to win prizes, so be there, all are welcome!
  6. Wednesday, October 19th, 2016, 6:30-8:00 pm in the Dutch Quad Dining Hall Peer Advisors will be tabling for Great Dane Connections, they will be available to answer questions on registration, meeting with your advisor, how to make your schedule, etc. So bring questions if you have them!
  7. Thursday, October 20th, 2016, from 6:30-8:00 pm in Colonial Quads Flag Room Peer Advisors will be stationed again for Great Dane Connections to answer any questions you may have regarding the upcoming registration season. As much as you need to be focused on this semester you also need to be thinking about next semester so come by and see your Peer Advisors!
  8. SLEEP: I know normally college kids are sleep-deprived zombies during midterms and finals but just try to get a few extra hours every night. One full sleep cycle is about 90 minutes long, that time span of a nap allows you to feel well rested. While power naps are nice to keep you sane, compiling all of them into one super 90-minute nap will likely help you in the long run and will actually help you solidify everything you just studied. Fun fact, the ability to form and retain non-emotional fact-based memories (like the ones you study for tests) is linked to slow-wave sleep (achieved right before REM sleep) which you need to sleep 60-90 minutes to achieve. Okay, maybe not “fun” but informative right?

Overall, try not to stress out too much. If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed take a mental break and don’t feel guilty for not studying during that time. While you’re at it, try not to eat Ramen for three meals a day either, you know what they say, “you are what you eat” and you WILL feel like a bowl of noodles if you don’t get proper nutrition. Just do your best and don’t procrastinate and you will survive midterms. If you look at it this way, we’re half way through the Fall semester! Good luck on your exams everyone!

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