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Dear Reader Segment: Swamped Edition

Dear Reader Segment: Swamped Edition

Question by Savannah Miranda 27: How can I best survive exam season? 

 

Dear Reader,

 

I’m not going to lie to you, exam season can be demanding both physically and emotionally. However, there are a handful of ways we as busy students can try to take care of ourselves to set us up for success! I highly recommend getting a notebook and a fancy pen to write some small goals down.

 

You will most definitely be swamped (see what I did there) with deadline after deadline coming at you full speed. Treat yourself to a cute notebook or even a simple clean legal pad and start writing things down. Planners are fun, but let’s be honest, after a few weeks they get ditched. The clean simple lines of a notebook are easier to jot things down as you think of them. Purchase or find a fun pen and start writing down when you want to get things done. If you love glittery ink, do it. If you prefer the Sharpie S-gel, do it.  Personally, I am a black ink and pink highlighter girl. The satisfaction of crossing out items on a to-do list will be half of the fun. The other half is actually turning things in or showing up confident for your exams. This is where the goal setting comes in. The ever-looming “EXAM DAY” on your syllabus is not enticing. Instead, make goals in your notebook to study specific chapters one day, make flashcards another day, hit a page count by the weekend, edit Sunday nights — you get the gist. Create small finish lines to build up to the exam itself. The satisfaction of crossing all those little finish lines will push you to the grand finale. 

 

All that being said, it is extremely important to try and get 8 hours of sleep in order to fuel your body well enough to get through this rough part of the semester. Rest, eat, stay hydrated, get outside, treat yourself to that coffee or redbull and be kind to your body. 

 

Best of luck, 

 

Lili Sheridan ’24

 

Question by LeJanise Fuster 26: How can I manage stress and balance having multiple exams?

 

Dear Reader, 

 

Though this may be my first collegiate midterm season, I am no stranger to the stress that comes with being a human being while balancing being a full-time student. That’s the thing: we must remember that we are human beings first. It’s easy to get caught up in the expectations we put on ourselves to succeed, but remember to give yourself grace. You are a human being who is inevitably going to make mistakes. It’s okay if you don’t ace every midterm. As cliche as it may sound, what matters is that you tried the best you could that day.  All of that said, it’s still totally natural to want to perform your best. Here are two tips I’ve found helpful to do well on exams:

 

Although every college student has done it —me included —procrastination isn’t going to help. A popular concept in cognitive psychology (basically how our brain works and processes information) is the Levels of Processing Theory. Ultimately, it states that deep processing leads to better long-term memory than shallow processing. In other words, studying ahead of time is increasingly more effective than cramming the night before. Though studying the night before seems unavoidable, the more you’re able to do ahead of time could mean one more question you get right on that exam. Even if it’s setting aside 20 minutes per class each day, every little bit helps. 

 

My second tip is to remember to take care of yourself. Let yourself take breaks. I’m a personal fan of the Pomodoro Technique where you study for 25 minutes straight, then take a five-minute break. Remember to celebrate the small breaks too. I take a break to eat dinner, go for a walk to get some fresh air or take a break to shower. Sometimes, I let myself stay a few extra minutes in that shower because I know I deserve it. Taking care of yourself and your mind is key to balancing the craziness that is midterms. 

 

Sara Ward ’27

 

Question by Jasmine Bakhsh 26: Do teachers think midterms actually help?

 

Dear Reader, 

 

Around midterms, it can get stressful with the number of assignments and exams. We like to think that in the end, when it’s over, you get the grade you were hoping for, right? The grade you get shows how well you have paid attention throughout the semester and how well you have learned. I think that it’s a good thing that teachers have midterms; think of it like a mid-learning recap of what you have been taught so far in the semester. Teachers also have exams to get a sense of how far the students are within the lesson and how well they understand it. To be honest, I’ve also thought taking midterms was a waste of time or not worth the stress, but when you don’t study, you’re missing out on important information that could be on the next exam or information that could be important later in your career. 

 

It’s best to keep an open mind when it comes to midterms, try your best and study as much as you can even when you really don’t want to. This also means making sure you are taking notes in class and paying close attention to the lectures that your professors give. Midterms are also something you should take seriously, like final exams, because it gives you an idea of what final grade you’re headed towards. In this case, it’s best to treat it like an opportunity so you know what you need to work on later. If you do this, finals season will roll around and you will know how to fill in the gaps from your midterm.  

 

Najae Gaffney ’26

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Lili Sheridan
Lili Sheridan, Staff Writer

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