“Dear Brooke, I’m worried about midterms. How can I prepare?”
First off, you’re not alone! Every single Stag is experiencing the same overwhelming, exhausting battle you are right now – even me. And even though a majority of us have already had to trudge through the endless mid-semester exams, projects and essays multiple times, it doesn’t seem to get any less stressful. However, you can start by making it a little easier for yourself by taking a few steps in the right direction.
It’s kind of crazy that we’ve normalized a designated period where all of our courses schedule whatever it is that takes up a large percentage of our grades at the same time. Studying for one class is hard enough, but balancing five at the same time? This is why it’s incredibly crucial to intricately plan these next few weeks. Take a look at the syllabi for your courses and find out which order each exam or project is on or due by. From there, decide which you feel will take you the longest or that you need the most time to complete and follow the rest accordingly.
2. Find your study place
This is tailored specifically to you. Most people spend their days hidden in the campus library, but I encourage you to branch out and see which place sparks your brain the most. A lot of residence halls have their own lounges that can be helpful to you. There are also open spaces at the mezzanine near the Stag diner, tables in the lower level of the Barone Campus Center or open classrooms in any of the five main buildings on campus: Dolan, Canisius, Donnarumma, Egan and Bannow. I say try a few hours at each place and see which one stimulates you the most. Some students thrive in busier places while others prefer silence.
3. Eliminate distractions
With whatever place you feel most comfortable, you must get rid of all distractions in order to work efficiently and productively. Only you know yourself best, so think of what things are most likely to throw you out of your focus. I know for a fact that my phone is very tempting for me to check while I study or do an assignment. So, I put it on silent and stow it somewhere out of reach. With the awkward distance, it reminds me that I shouldn’t check for any messages because it will inevitably prolong the amount of work I will get done.
If you’re someone who needs a friend to be near you to steer you on the right path, ask for a study buddy to join you. Or, if you know that you’re chatty like me, put some space between you and others.
Lastly, no one can work on an empty stomach. Make sure you get something to eat before you hit the books, bring a snack or plan a designated time for you to grab a meal. The growling in your stomach will undoubtedly be a distraction.
All of these tricks haven’t failed me yet, so hopefully you find that these are helpful for you as well! But at the end of the day, it really just comes down to conjuring the motivation to get what you need to do done. I believe in you – good luck, Stag!
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