How to: Get Through Midterm Less Stressed & Dead

‘Tis the season, readers!

No, no, we’re not talking about the season with heavy coats, halls decked with holly, bells ring-ting-tingling, and holiday laziness. It’s nearly time for finals!

To get you ready for this most anticipated time of the year, we’ll be answering some questions that students usually ask when exam week starts looming over us all, and we’ll be giving helpful tips to become the most successful studier !

Why do I have to do this?

Because it’s not enough to give tests periodically throughout the rest of the year, the school has to make double extra sure that you really don’t know what you’re learning in class.

     Can I use y=mx+b to measure the slope of how downhill my life/grades are going?

In theory, maybe, but is your life going downhill in a straight line or does it suddenly get your hopes up and go a little upwards, only to drop back down? The outcome will probably be undefined. Ask your math teacher.

When did we learn this?

You didn’t. 😀

I hate this. I’m gonna cry.

This isn’t really a question, but we’re sending tissues and freshly baked cookies. It’ll be slightly more okay soon. Like we promised, here’s some advice to get ready for exams when feeling like you’re combusting:

  1. Lie down on the floor. Or on your desk. Or on your friend’s desk. Whatever’s closest because you can’t get very far when you’re slowly dying on the inside.
  2. Think about everything you should be studying and figure out a way that you should manage it.
  3. Just stay in that position until all of life disappears, the same way that Bella sat staring out of a window for three months when Edward left. (Speaking of which, maybe just give up and watch a lot of film adaptations of book series: Twilight, Harry Potter, Hunger Games…)
  4. And there you go! What you ignore won’t hurt you! No, just kidding. You’re probably way past the stage where we can cover our faces and you’ll think that we’ve disappeared. This is no time for Peek-a-Boo.

(I’m kidding. Do not do the above four things if you actually want to be productive!)

What can I actually do so I don’t feel like I’m going to fail all my finals?

  1. Don’t psych yourself out before you even try! Leading up to exams, it’s not uncommon to get the feeling that there’s no point, because you’re not going to do well. Instead, you should be overly optimistic. Be almost annoying in your confidence in yourself: you can achieve, just study and don’t be afraid to admit what you don’t know, because at the end of the grades, school is about learning and getting smarter.
  2. Give yourself enough time to study and have a plan, then… actually do it. We know the struggle of procrastination! That’s why it’s important to, in addition to your plans, have rewards. Get together with friends, or motivate yourself by saying “if I make review notes for this chapter, I’ll watch a whole season of Bones.” Okay, maybe not that extreme, but you probably get the point! Give yourself a reason to study that’ll give you more of a feeling of gratification… that is, if that 100% just isn’t motivation enough!
  3. When you feel like you just… can’t, try the Touch it Once rule to get started. If you have a lot on your plate, try doing each task at least one time for two to three minutes. Don’t time yourself, just start studying the concept or the chapter or what-have-you. There’s a good chance that once you start, with only feeling like you need to do two minutes of work, you’ll just keep going.
  4. When you really, really, really can’t focus at all, go do something that you enjoy. Take an hour’s break just to be by yourself and clear your head. You’ll waste a lot more prep time worrying, because you’re not understanding something, or because the exam is coming up and you haven’t done anything. Maybe reinstate that motivation (see how this is a reoccurring theme?) to achieve and do something that you know you’re good at… Just calm down. Go on a walk (even though it’s freezing out! Maybe the cold will successfully ice the panicking away!), take a nap, watch a movie (this writer recommends Love Actually— because tis the season (I really mean it this time)!
  5. Just trust that it’s gonna work out, anyway, even if it’s not the way that you think it should be. Good luck.