The do’s and dont’s of avoiding a midterm slump

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If you’re like me, week six comes with a mixed blend of emotions. For those of us going abroad spring term, the countdown continues, with each day bringing us closer to an exciting term of new experiences in a new place.

For those of us tired of this odd weather, the approaching promise of spring excites dreams of consistent warmth, outdoor parties and lazy afternoons in Jackson’s Gardens.

For the neurotics among us, the sands of fate are running out fast; finals week looms in the not-too-distant future.

All of these influences can serve to distract from classwork and bring about fresh stress. To avoid wallowing in these stresses, I’ve assembled some midterm do’s and don’ts to help us all survive these ‘hump’ weeks of the term.

Don’t:

Underestimate the importance of studying and of making time for your classwork. Missing assignments under the mentality of “I’ll do it later” will only hurt you in the end, especially with finals week coming in the near future.

It’s a good idea to start solidifying your knowledge of class material now by doing minor assignments to the best of your ability before your knowledge is tested in the coming weeks.

This requires time, a commodity that we’re all running low on these days. However, making time will only benefit you.

Processing complex ideas like critical race theory or Kirchoff’s Law takes time; you can’t be expected to fully understand it in an hours’ worth of cramming.

Budget your time wisely; remember that it is very difficult to read a page a minute (one of my personal faulty assumptions).

Do:

Make time for yourself. You might be wondering where you are supposed to find all this spare time to study and to pamper yourself. The answer lies in the very balance of the two.

To avoid being distracted while working, give yourself designated times to be distracted. Doing work for six hours straight is useless if you are on Facebook for three of those hours.

Instead of becoming frustrated at your inability to focus, take a half hour or two and gift it to yourself as a time to renew your mental health.

Go for a swim at the pool, a run, bake a favorite dessert, clean your room — physical activity will relieve pent-up energy and help you to find your focus. Plus it’s a nice break to physically get up and move away from your work.

Don’t:

Struggle through your classwork on your own. If you’ve been working on a thermodynamics problem for hours and still don’t understand it, seek out the appropriate help!

Whether in the form of a tutor or your professor, there are many resources here on campus that can help you.

Many academic departments offer Help Centers, and professors are always happy to meet with you and work through what you don’t understand.

Union offers many resources to help you manage your time and stress, and has plenty of academic help programs.

Minerva Mentors can help you put together a study schedule, while the Counseling Center can give you a place to spread out all your concerns and discuss them.

Even visiting the Wicker Wellness Center to pet the therapy dogs can help. These resources exist for you and you alone; it is to your advantage to use them.

Do:

Take care of yourself. By this I mean a variety of things, but most importantly eating and sleeping. Eating too little or too many unhealthy foods will make you feel sluggish and out of focus. Getting little or too much sleep can have the same effect.

Keeping yourself in balance will keep you operating at your best. Remember to eat all the food groups and to take in all your vitamins; now is a time to renew your mental strength by giving your body the proper nourishment.

The number one target of this article is, believe it or not, the author. Even as a junor, I find myself struggling with these very issues. I like to think that these tips are pretty obvious, but as I find myself suffocating under the weight of week six, I realized I needed to make a game plan for the rest of the term.

This article is that plan; and if you’re struggling too I hope you’ll find something here to help. Together we will make it spring term and all the joys and good times that accompany it.

 

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