Tips to successfully make it through midterms

Correspondent Ryleigh Dobson provides tips for students navigating midterms week. (Courtesy of CollegiateParent)Correspondent Ryleigh Dobson provides tips for students navigating midterms week. (Courtesy of CollegiateParent)

Ryleigh Dobson, Correspondent

Many students may be feeling stressed, overwhelmed, disorganized, or perhaps unmotivated as midterms approach.

It’s always important to take care of yourself and stay on track as you approach the halfway point of the semester.

Here are a few useful tips to keep yourself motivated and ready to tackle midterms:

Prioritize your mental health

Your mental health should always come first, making it number one on the list. Meditation! 

Stress and worries can cause you to feel overwhelmed and anxious. The act of meditating helps to control cortisone levels allowing the body to cope with stress. 

The word “meditation” can be overwhelming by itself, but don’t worry it’s not as intimidating as it may seem. 

A great solution for feeling out of control is to center yourself. Taking a moment to sit still and focus on your breath is a simple and easy form of meditating. This simple practice of focusing your mind on your breathing and noticing how it affects your body can be enough to reset your mental foundation, calming your mind.

Also, Jacksonville State University’s Counseling Services is offering counseling sessions for students, faculty and staff through Microsoft Teams, telephone or in-person appointment. To make an appointment, call 256-782-5475 or submit an online request form.

Ask for help

As students, you may not always feel confident and it may feel intimidating to address your professor. 

Don’t just sit in panic and worry. If your house was burning down you wouldn’t just watch it burn; you would call 911 to get help. If you’re feeling anxious about requesting help from a professor or tutor, maybe start first with an email requesting a time to meet before or after class. 

I’m sure they would be more than happy to help you! 

Maybe time has passed and your professor is unable to meet with you. Try getting a group together to study — socially distanced, of course, or over Zoom/Teams) or even asking a friend to go to the library with you. 

Having the presence of someone else doing work with you can sometimes be enough to keep you motivated.

Once you accomplish a meeting, task or study session, reward yourself! Whether that be watching an episode, movie, listening to a different playlist or podcast, playing a video game or even eating a good meal. Successful students that ask for help overall feel happy, rewarded and accomplished/


A huge detail that is preached to everyone and for a good reason. 

Organization makes everything easier! Create a calendar in the best way that works for you. Rather that be a planner, piece of paper, sticky notes, etc. 

Start with writing out your courses and what tasks that need to be accomplished. Once you have your course work planned out, put it all together into a schedule for your week. Have fun crossing off each task and don’t forget to schedule in study breaks! Here are a few tips to help you organize:

  • Color coordinate
  • Set a time to wake up and fall asleep
  • Set aside a break to look at your phone
  • Set up time increments to study 

Find a study spot

Find a good place and make it your own. There are many places to study here on campus. 

For instance, if you like silence, visit Houston Cole Library. There are 12 floors so I’m sure you can find one that’s just for you. If you like sensory learning, try sitting outside of the library and doing work or even the twelfth floor of the library (which is newly remodeled). 

If you’re not a fan of silence when you study, try the Rec Center or the TMB where you can get a coffee or food and relax. Bonus: as a distraction on your study break you can people watch.

Stay nourished

Brain Food! Sometimes we can get very absorbed by pressure to finish work, but don’t forget to eat. How do you expect your body to keep going without fuel? Here are some good brain food suggestions:

  • WATER (hydration = overall better function of your body)
  • Fish (boost brain activity)
  • Dark chocolate (increase memory)
  • Berries (increase brain health)
  • Nuts, Seeds and Whole Grains (vitamin E)
  • Coffee (boost alertness) [NOTE: drink responsibly]
  • Avocados (reduce blood pressure)
  • Broccoli (vitamin C)

Always make time in your day to eat at least one full balanced meal!

Bonus tips

  • Exercise
  • Find new artist/bands and create an rocking playlist
  • Get involved in organizations here on campus
  • Call a friend and catch up
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