This blog post was written by Intern Queen Campus Ambassador Ruchika Devalapalli from Rutgers University.
The semester starts and you are off and running in the race. Between friends, extra curricular activities, meeting new people, and classes it’s the first week you’re back at school and you have no time. Sooner than later, it’s halfway through the semester and you have five exams, two papers and a group project due the following week. That’s when it all seems to hit you: what have I been doing this entire time? Luckily for you, there are plenty of college students asking that same question. So here are a few tips to get you through midterms while keeping the stress and tears at bay.
Okay, I had to start with the most obvious of them all. But you would be surprised as to how greatly starting your studying early will impact your overall result. Students come into college anticipating long and endless nights of studying. This doesn’t have to be true.
Take advantage of syllabus week. Pick one day, sit down and organize your entire semester. Look at your syllabus and plan out your readings, projects, exams etc. on a calendar. Stick to that schedule. By planning out when you’ll work on everything you can say, “goodbye all-nighters!”
Make friends in your class
If you’re a freshman, this will be easy – you’re all new to the University and no one will think you are strange if you lean over to them in class and ask what their name is. I once leaned over to the girl next to me my freshman year and asked if she had the notes from the last slide because I missed them. She’s currently my roommate. Upperclassmen, don’t forget to make friends either because when it’s 2 a.m. the night before your exam, you will have wished you had someone to discuss notes with. Two sets of notes create the holy grail of study guides. Also, when you have that study-buddy with you, studying all night doesn’t seem all that bad. In fact, it can even be fun!
Find “your spot”
Throughout your college years, you will study in many different places. Out of all those places, there will be one spot where you’ll feel more at home than anywhere else. When you spend so much time studying in random places on campus outside factors start to get in the way, such as your phone, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Yik Yak, etc. However, when you find your “spot”, you need to condition your mind to only associate that place with studying. Put away your phone, block out any distracting websites if you need to use WiFi and dedicate your time to only studying. Self-Control is a great app for Mac users where you can “blacklist” distracting websites and set a timer, while Focus Me is a great Windows equivalent. Soon enough, you’ll be able to get your work done without any distractions and ace your classes!
Don’t stress. Don’t freak out. Don’t blame yourself.
There will come a time where you will absolutely lose all hope in getting a good grade on an exam. The most important thing you can take from this entire article is to not blame yourself! College is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. You SHOULD be having fun and experiencing everything you possibly can because after four years, you will never live like this again. College is supposed to teach you how to balance everything and just remember: take a deep breath, tell yourself you can do it, and push on through.
Before you know it, midterms will be over and you can once again enjoy the social life you’ve cultivated here at college. But don’t forget about finals. Good luck!