Midterm Season Survival Guide

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Illustration by Esther York / Staff Illustrator

Ashley Dominguez

Midterm season brings days of all-nighters, gallons of coffee, essays, and hours spent in the library studying. Between exams and the normal pressures of college such as classes and a social life, it’s hard for many to not be overwhelmed and stressed by the piling work.

So, how do we cope so that we don’t lose our minds?

Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) is one way to gain mental relief. But even then, many students want a more holistic way of relaxation that doesn’t mean sitting down in another office.

For many students, the key isn’t so much as finding one activity to drown out another. Instead, the key is to find balance.

Fourth year Evelin Ambrocio, a biological sciences major, believes that “as a STEM major, midterms are never over.” While some might believe that science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) majors never sleep, Ambrocio tries to get at least four hours to function the next day.

Ambrocio has not become used to the lack of sleep yet. Part of getting enough rest is staying organized.

On a day-to-day basis, Ambrocio lives uses her planners. “My passion planner, my 11-week calendar, my weekly assignments checklists, and my daily reminders keep me sane,” she said.

All of the planners may seem excessive, but they’re a great help to clearly see and track everything for people who understand better with visual aids. Even with a busy schedule, Ambrocio keeps up for the entire school year because she genuinely enjoys everything she’s involved in.

Luis Carranza, a third year economics and accounting major, is also a resident assistant (RA) for the Santa Catalina Residence Hall. Mindful of the students under his charge, he has some practical advice of his own for reducing stress.

During midterm season, Carranza “actually studies” and makes time for self-care. As a reward system for studying enough and getting his assignments done, he plays soccer. The key for him is time management and prioritizing his duties over personal amusement.

For many students, solace is found in the knowledge that other people are there for them. Second year political science major Ivan Vera copes with midterm season through positive thinking and a good support system.

“All these late nights with friends going on coffee runs and studying makes it all worth it,” Vera said. Handling a busy life requires scheduling and making time for everything. Vera gets all of his work and reading done during the daytime and leaves socializing for nighttime.

As an undeclared second year, I can attest to the effectiveness of planning and rewarding myself. I don’t know where I’d be without the use of my google calendar, reminder options, and tasks tabs.

Planning lets me have my entire day on my phone on the go to let me know where I need to be, what I should do or study first, and when I can relax.

As I go down the list and check off everything I’ve done, I reward myself with little breaks with things like a snack, Netflix, or a nap.

However you cope with a hectic schedule or midterm season, you can always implement new methods or improve the ones you currently practice.

Remember that while achieving good grades and passing your midterms is important, so is your physical and mental health.

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