Midterm Survival: A Freshman Starterpack

DISCLAIMER: I am just a freshman who has been a procrastinating nerd most of her life, those are my only qualifications to write this.

I really hope you are not reading this the night before a huge test, instead of getting some sleep. Actually first requirement for midterm season:

How to improve sleep schedule? Stay tuned for that, I just might write a blog about it next week! Though some quick notes, if you have a class at 8 am, DO NOT be in the bathroom performing face care at 3 am. Be at bed by at least midnight, I'd advise even earlier, but I am wiser than to assume college students will listen. 

What if you are completely desperate, have done no studying, and it's already 10? 
  • Don't panic
Panic does not help, ever. To paint a picture - you have an exam in an hour, you are stressed. What happens if you panic? You waste a lot of precious time freaking out, yet you still have an exam in an hour. All that time could have been used for revising. One of the things that help me most with surviving studying (especially last minute), is telling myself how soon it's going to be over. 15 hours is a pretty short time, and I know it will pass soon, with me studying or not. Imagining how soon I will experience the feeling of finishing an exam, relaxes me. 

The other mindtrick I have found helpful when I open a book and realize "Oh no...", is simply to forget that there is a time limit. Act as if you have all the time in the world. You might not, but it will minimize the panic, and improve your focus. Which brings me to such a crucial point:
  • Focus
It's hard, I know, though not impossible at all. Your phone is a distraction. I am sorry if I sound like a boomer lecturing you but it's true. Turn of your wifi. If you're okay with your roommate, ask them to not give it to you until you finish a chapter perhaps. You know what works best for you, but I'd say the biggest part is not keeping it next to you or within reach. 

If you like listening to music, be very cautious of what you listen to while doing work. Is your favorite Spotify playlist fun? Of course it is, but it will also lead you to appreciate the music more than focusing on what you're doing. I'd suggest some simple tunes, without many lyrics, such as the iconic lofi beats (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5qap5aO4i9A). I enjoy turning on songs in other languages because they don't distract me as much. Thanks to this album I passed my IB exams: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cFsYDMJBwsI. 
  • Time management
It's possible, okay? Just consider the difficulty, and prioritise. If you have two midterms to study for, you know best how time consuming each of them will be for you. So plan ahead. Sit down, take a notebook, or your Google calendar, or whatever you prefer, but take the time to physically write it out! Time slots and managements. Personally it helps me to write it out. And to be completely honest, I never quite do everything my list says, but the point is to establish some structure, even if you adjust is at you're doing it, it forces you to allocate some time to some specific things. This also helps in obtaining information:
  • Make a cheat sheet
NOT to cheat! Imagine if you could bring in a paper full of formulas, and definitons you need for a test. Write them down on one single sheet of paper. This helps to absorb the most important things you need for the quiz, even if you can't take it with you. You will revise while you're rephrasing and writing it down, and you can look at it all the time before you go in to actually do your test. 

  • Be ready to fail
For my last midterm, I spent 8 hours in the computer lab studying. 

And when the time came, I did not make it perfect unfortunately, as I would've hoped to. Had a mini existential crisis questioning my major and life choices. I also laughed at myself a day later for that crisis. A midterm, a final, it doesn't truly matter in the grand scheme of things. Most profesors are very open to improvement if you wish to do so, and most are ready to help. You can always work and strive do to better, but you can also accept it and work to do better next time. 

Failing is a part of the process. As much as we hear it, you have to truly experience it to truly understand. 
So if all else fails, fail.

That's all from me this week dear readers, I hope you come again to hear my mediocore, genuine advice.  

-Lots of love,