Mid-Term Week Survival Guide

Emma Cahill, Staff Writer

As Villanova students approach the midpoint of the first semester, many are preparing for midterms or are currently taking midterm exams. There is a sense of chaos and frenzy in the air. The library is filled to the brim with students cramming loads of information into their minds. Many people form study groups and confer with classmates about bracing themselves for tests. Others take a different approach and take advantage of the fact that the Connelly Center Holy Grounds is open until 11 p.m., utilizing a caffeine rush. 

Whatever one’s approach might be, it is easy to feel overwhelmed by the influx of midterm assignments. The abundance of tests, projects and papers can induce mass amounts of stress and anxiety in individuals. How can one handle the pressure of preparing and taking these exams? Is there any way to undertake these tasks with ease?

For those wondering how to cope with the immense burden of it all, here are some ways to survive this chaotic time: A midterm survival guide of sorts. 

When in preparation for midterms, there are many things to consider. First, though this advice may seem trite, the essentials to crushing these academic hurdles are a combination of sufficient amounts of sleep and organizational skills. Getting a good night’s sleep is key to a successful midterm week. It is necessary to rest after working for a long time to recharge for the next day. Additionally, staying organized is vital to increased productivity. One way to stay organized is by utilizing a physical planner, a reminder app or even sticky note pads. Taking note of incoming assignments or exams makes it easier to lay out an effective study schedule. 

Another essential part of surviving midterm prep is relaxation. Though it may seem counterproductive, finding time to relax between studying is vital to successful study habits. It is not just optional but rather imperative to find downtime for wellness. Not only does setting aside time for leisure help to calm one’s nerves, but it also increases productivity. There is a tendency to be unable to focus when droning on reading and writing for hours without a break. So, by taking even a 15-minute break, one can refresh the mind and then subsequently return to vigorous studying. 

Though it is difficult to sit back and relax during a time of such substantial stress, there are various methods one can employ. First, physical activity can be beneficial to relaxation. Releasing some endorphins by going to the gym, doing yoga or going for a run can be valuable to wellness. Another aspect of relaxation can simply be resting, whether watching Netflix or taking a nap, as a way to recharge the brain. Whatever method one decides to implement, remember that rest is not only acceptable but also advantageous. 

Additionally, another significant aspect of gearing up for midterms is finding an appropriate studying location. There are many viable options to choose for study sessions. Some popular spots include Falvey Library, Bartley Hall, Driscoll or even a bench near the fountain. It all depends on one’s comfort level. If used to a noisy environment, a busier locale like the Connelly Center may be better. However, if one is used to pin-dropping silence, the Reading Room in Old Falvey would be a better choice. It all depends on preference, but analyzing the surrounding environment is a good idea to see which location is most suitable.  

When it comes to taking the exams themselves, many people have concerns about controlling nerves or are wondering how to channel positive energy. The process of taking exams can provoke anxiety in many, but there are ways to combat this. Practicing breathing exercises is a popular way to calm down before an exam. For example, the 4-7-8 breathing method, where one breathes in for four seconds, holds their breath for seven seconds and then exhales for eight seconds, is a popular breathing exercise that can instill a sense of calm in apprehensive test-takers. Another well-liked technique is to practice positive affirmations to build up confidence before an exam. Test-taking anxiety is a difficult hurdle to overcome, but little tips such as these can help to ward off such uneasiness when completing exams.

Overall, getting through the middle of the first semester may seem like a formidable task, but there are ways to conquer the overwhelming nature of it all. Whether one is battling multiple exams, presentations or projects, this chaos is survivable. In this pursuit of academic success, maintain a positive attitude and power through.