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Survivorman: Midterms

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Hi everyone!

Happy Winter Olympics! Go USA!

Also, happy midterms! Happy? Hmmm.  Maybe not the happiest of times, but I have crafted some tips on how to survive these not-so-fun times of the year.  I have 5 exams within the next 10 days.  You might be thinking, “Wow, it’s early for midterms! This girl is crazy!”  One thing I didn’t know about college, or at least CU, before last year, was that most classes have 2 or 3 midterms per semester as opposed to 1. So that means that you can have multiple weeks with tests.  Last year I had one month that had at least one test every week.  Luckily, after 3 semesters here, and with the help of my roommates, I have come up with some pretty out-of-the-box tips to survive midterms:

1.       Find, not one, but MANY good study spots that work for you.

Some of my favorites include:

1.       My kitchen table-counter- I love being able to spread out all of my study supplies when my roommates aren’t using the space!

2.       The third floor of Norlin library by the windows that look over the sun dial- Goldilocks area, not too crowded, not to isolated. Juuuuust right!

3.       Anywhere in the Wolf Law Library- All of the law students are so focused which creates a really encouraging atmosphere! (Caution: Do not make much noise. People will stare at you) 

4.       Pekoe Coffee Shop in the Atlas building- It is really laid back and a great place to study if you need some background noise!

5.       Amante Coffee near WillVill on Baseline- Close to home for me!

6.       The C4C- last year as a freshman, with a meal plan, I would go on Sunday mornings when it opened at 10am with all of my notebooks and sit in the depths of the Italian section and study for hours

I definitely think it is good to have multiple good study spots.  Don’t limit yourself to just one!

2.       Use different colors of pens.  If you go back and use highlighters to highlight important parts of your notes, the highlighter ink might leak through.  I use different colors of pens while taking notes so that vocab words and important concepts jump out at me. 

3.       If you don’t have a meal plan, make sure you have meals you can just pop in the microwave.  Sunday night, before the craziness began, I made a huge thing of fried rice that has already given me 3 meals, and I expect at least 2 more! It also doesn’t hurt to keep some frozen pizzas on hand. 

By the way, fried rice is super easy to make! You just need to cut up some veggies, like peppers, carrots, onion, broccoli, asparagus, etc, and pan-fry them, cube chicken breast and pan-fry it, make rice, add them all together with soy sauce, (or ginger salad dressing!) and let it cook and absorb some flavor.  It’s also pretty cheap!

4.       Never underestimate the power of some good tea! Here is a picture of all of the caffeinated tea my roommates and I have!

5.       But do not, I REPEAT DO NOT, drink a dirty chai at night or in the evening.  A dirty chai is one of my favorite drinks- it is a chai latte with a shot of espresso, so SUPER caffeinated, but yesterday I made the mistake of drinking one at 5pm.  I couldn’t fall asleep last night, and boy am I paying for it today!

6.       That brings me to another point, sleep as much as you can! You will retain more information.  Take a quick power nap if you need to!

Check this out!!

7.       Make a killer study playlist.  I pack mine full of classical and instrumental music, especially from movies! Finding Nemo has an awesome soundtrack, as do the Harry Potter films, How To Train Your Dragon, and countless others! I really nerd-out to Harry Potter music.  Here is a picture of some of my favorite study songs.  Thank you Spotify, for always having my back!

8.       Use note cards! They really help.  Or at least, they really help me.  I prefer to make them by hand, because I know I learn by writing things out, but a lot of my friends use websites like Quizlet.  Parlez-vous français?

9.       Be kind to those around you, especially the people you live with. Everyone is stressed, so help each other out! I sent this is to my roommate today who was studying for an Organic Chemistry midterm.

10.   Appreciate the little things and stay calm.  It will all be over soon! On the bright side, it is now Girl Scout Cookie Season! Love me some Thin Mints and Savannah Smiles!


Hope this helps!    - Nina 


Linguistics; Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences • Centennial, CO


Great post! For those of us who procrastinate, it's good to see a list of things to consider before hunkering down to the actual study part.

Can I just say, I love, love, LOVE the tea collection! I had a couple of really good ones and thought I was all set. Now I want mine to match your stash! SOOO good! This is a great way to ease out of my laziness and get into the studying mode. Instead of power naps though, I've been hooked onto to "educational" games, that way, if anyone catches me, HEY, I'm investing in Science and incorporating its knowledge into my brain space. Love your article Nina! I'm sharing!

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