The first month of classes is great. You know that you have a lot to do, but those due dates
are far in the future and not worth worrying about. You only have had a few assignments to turn in so your GPA is sailing high and you feel like an academic success. Then October comes around and reality rears its big, ugly face in the form of that all too horrible word . . . midterms (dun dun dun). Midterms are the absolute worst. They really help to answer age old questions like “When did we go over this in class?!”
Okay, I will admit that I am dramatic. If you are prepared then midterms are nothing to fear and they can actually enforce that you understand things before finals. Plus, if midterms are rolling around then it also means that the semester is almost halfway over. (Expect for those professors that schedule two or three midterms per semester. What is the deal with that? If there’s more than one midterm then it’s not a midterm, it’s a test . . . rant over).
I don’t know whether my midterm schedule is great or cruel this semester. Somehow I ended up with one misterm per week in October. Yeah, one test every week this month. On one hand, I am happy because I don’t have to worry about more than one class per week, but on the other hand, it’s going to be a long month. Now, I will let you in on a secret. There are three things that you need to do in order to survive the dreaded midterm time period. They are as follows:
1) Start preparing early
2) Take breaks
Starting early sounds obvious, but it is true. If you start studying even a day earlier than you intended I promise that things will go 100% smoother. Taking breaks is also essential, because let’s be honest: who really retains information after 6 hours of reading a text book? Unless you are Batman (and I highly doubt that you are) then you are better off studying in segments with breaks in between to clear your mind. The most important of all these guidelines is caffeine. I am not a big coffee drinker, but when test time comes around I thrive off of it. There are a crazy amount of coffee houses in Boulder too, so finding the perfect brew isn’t hard at all. My favorite coffee house is Ozo Coffee. There is one located on Pearl Street and also one on Arapahoe Rd (past Foothills). My favorite drink is the Bhakti Chai, but I have heard great things about their other drinks as well. In addition to sweet caffeine stimulation, I also enjoy going to coffee houses during study times because it really shows you that everyone is in the same position as you. It may just be me, but when I see other people studying in public and being productive then it motivates me to do the same. Tests are only as hard as you make them, and if you work for it then there is nothing to panic about.
Best of luck to my fellow study Buffs! Until next time, wish me luck!