Sept. 22 marked the official first day of fall, and for once the Colorado weather seems to be trying to cooperate; the leaves are changing, falling and littering the ground, the temperature has finally dropped under 80 degrees fahrenheit and midterms are rolling up faster than your teacher was talking last lecture.
Any exam is a rough experience, but midterms can be absolutely brutal. Here’s a few tips to help you still be around on the other side of the semester.
How to Study
You’d think by time they got to college, students would know how to study, and that’s not entirely untrue. On the other hand, a reminder never hurt:
– Start with the most important information, and start with the general concepts before learning the details.
– Take short breaks, and take them often.
– Pace yourself. If you cram everything the night before, you’re not going to remember everything you covered — and if you’re anything like me, you run the risk of metaphorically passing out and oversleeping the class in question. Plus, then you have a spiral notebook imprinted on your face.
– Take advantage of your learning style, whatever that might be. If you’re an audio learner, try recording yourself saying the information or listening to your teacher’s lectures if they record them. If you learn better upside down for some reason, go chill on the monkey bars at the park. I don’t care, whatever works for you.
Where to Study
Generally speaking, you want to find a space with good lighting and few distractions. Keep in mind that distractions are different for everyone; some people might be able to study in a room full of people, while others need to be somewhere deathly silent in order to focus at all.
If you really want to study well, be honest with yourself. Don’t tell yourself you can study to music or while watching TV if you really can’t.
Some suggestions include:
– The library (obviously)
– The Behavioral Sciences Building
– A nice, quiet crypt
– Your bedroom
– Not your actual bed. You’re conditioned to sleep there, which isn’t exactly the best way to study.
Being prepared shouldn’t only apply to how you feel about your tests. Make sure you’ve got everything you need to ensure your studying goes as it should.
– Snacks — ideally, nothing too sugary. If you need to smear cream cheese on every bite, dust it with paprika and dip it in barbeque sauce… First of all, what the hell are you eating? Secondly, if it takes that much effort to eat, save it for your breaks.
– Notecards, pens, pencils, highlighters, your computer, whatever you’ll need for the studying you have in mind.
– Snow boots — get them before Colorado drops three feet of snow on your path to class just to prove you’re unprepared. Sure, once you get those boots it’s guaranteed not to snow until March, but at least you won’t be late to your midterms.
Finally, remember, everyone else has midterms too. If people seem more stressed out than usual, drive like idiots or can’t stop talking about their study schedule, cut them a break. But, please remember that everyone is busy and stressed; don’t use exams as an excuse to get out of work, helping on a project, or doing the dishes. Hint hint.
Entertainment Editor Em Kribs can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.