Mid-term exam season can be stressful but you can survive it if you stay healthy, stay organized and keep your eye on the bigger picture.
Margot Bell, associate director of student development at the University of British Columbia, says good health habits go a long way to keeping you as stress-free as possible during mid-term season.
“You have to take care of your health. Sleep, eat, rest, relax and it’ll make you a better student overall. Health habits tend to shift because students start spending all their time trying to focus on their exams. It all just creates stress by putting you in that pressure-cooker,” Bell said.
Your study sessions will be more productive if you tally up how much time you have left, how many topics you need to sensibly cover and create a schedule that makes sense. Think divide-and-conquer instead of trying to leap headfirst into the endzone.
“Stress management and time management really go hand-in-hand. Set reasonable, manageable goals and divide the work into smaller tasks. Set a schedule that builds in rest time and study time,” Bell said.
Most importantly of all, don’t get caught up in negative thoughts – regardless of how you do on your mid-terms, you’ll be able to start fresh and try out good habits again with a look towards final exams.
“Being prepared in advance is ideal and it’s never too late to start implementing good strategies and habits. If you mess up, you can put what you’ve learned towards December anyways.
Stay positive and energized
Reed Hilton-Eddy, learning strategist at Ryerson University, says constant feelings of being tired can be a classic symptom of being stressed-out so don’t make it worse by constantly napping.
“Some forms of stress can make you lethargic and tired so in those cases a nap might not be the right idea. Do some exercise instead,” Hilton-Eddy said.
A positive outlook can make a huge difference in your stress levels so remember to think positive.
“Don’t say, ‘Don’t panic.’ Instead think, ‘I am calm, I am prepared, I am relaxed.’ You want to focus on the things you want to happen, not the things you don’t,” Hilton-Eddy said.
If you feel yourself feeling stressed, take deep, full breaths to get your blood going and send oxygen to your head. Avoid too much caffeine as it can actually raise your stress levels.