Midterms managed

Sharing struggles, advice for midterms

Isabella Tranello, Staff Reporter

Illustration by Gabrialla Cockerell

Studying for midterms has always been a stressful time for any college student, but those levels of stress have increased astronomically due to the restrictions placed upon students in the middle of the current pandemic.

With study rooms currently being out of use for students and large gatherings of people being prohibited, students have had to find other ways to begin studying for their exams. 

Sophomore nursing major Reena Sidhu, has already begun studying in advance for her upcoming exams and is using her calm dorm environment to her advantage. 

“I am actually really lucky and thankful that I have an awesome roommate who is good at giving me space and a quiet place to study. I don’t feel as if there are too many distractions happening around me which gives me a nice calming place to review the material for classes,” said Sidhu.

Sidhu has also found alternative places to study other than just in her room that she feels have replaced the need for a study room. 

“I have relied heavily on cafes in the area to get my studying done. They not only supply me with a quiet environment to get work done but they also provide me with drinks and food if I need it to fuel me through the stress,” said Sidhu. 

Although she is fortunate to have a calm roommate and quiet cafes, Sidhu also understands how much of a struggle midterms might be for those who don’t have a relaxing environment. She can relate to the strong possibility of those around her being a distraction. 

“I live in a suite style dorm and I think it may be difficult to study because of them,” Sidhu said. “I have a very close relationship with not only my roommate but also my suitemates so it is going to be a struggle for me to stay focused and not be tempted to hang out with them.” 

Sidhu also believes that she will face more than just social distractions when it comes to studying. She believes she may play a key part in her own distraction as well. 

“I tend to have a shorter attention span and I am worried that since I will be in my own living space that I will be more prone to distraction. It may be hard, but I really hope that I can find a way to control my attention and keep myself away from distractions in my room such as my cell phone,” Sidhu said. 

More students at SPU are also looking outside of campus boundaries for places to peacefully and successfully study for midterms.

Senior international business major Sarah Amano is one of those students. This, however, is not a new norm to her. The closing of study rooms and limits of group gatherings is not a huge inconvenience to Amano since she is used to studying on her own, but struggles with online schooling.

“I don’t learn well online, so I feel like I’ll be facing a lot of extra work to fully comprehend subjects on our study guides or doing my own research outside of our lectures. I also get nervous reaching out to teachers via email and zoom if I have questions so that’s another boundary!” Amano said.

Amano has her struggles, but she is not hindered by the lack of study groups. She does understand that it might be difficult for those who are used to studying in groups and she offers similar advice to those studying within the spaces of their homes or dorms. 

“I definitely understand how a lot of students feel a lack of motivation when studying alone, especially at home! I think my biggest tip is to set a timer,” Amano said. “Dedicate 30 minutes to being focused on school then when the timer goes off reward yourself with 10-15 minutes of free time and start the cycle again for however long you feel is adequate” 

Limiting time on media is important, but Amano also acknowledges the true importance of how presenting oneself in a certain way can boost work ethic. 

“I read a psychology fact once that said the way you dress can affect your work ethic. If you feel unmotivated and lazy, I wouldn’t recommend studying in pajamas! I feel like that would just set the tone for less productivity.”

Students at SPU are also facing the fact that there seems to be too much work that they already have on top of the upcoming exams which provides even more stress upon them. 

Sophomore psychology major Melanie Kesler feels as if it may be hard for her to get studying done when she already spends many hours on regular assignments. 

“I spend most of my days already doing hours of homework and assignments for my classes. I think it is going to be hard for me to find time to study the content adequately. It is different from when we had in person classes last year because I had free time to myself after class, but now I feel as if I am always doing work.” Kesler said through email. 

Despite her struggle with her regular school work taking over her days, she still feels as if the environment around her is going to be essential to her success.

“I have a very clean room and there is always some kind of calming scent in the air that helps me focus, usually an essential oil from my roommates diffuser,” Kelser said. 

Kelser wants others to know that they are not the only ones who are feeling stressed about their upcoming exams. While exams are important, she hopes that her fellow students can find a way to still care for themselves. 

“I just want everyone to know that they are just as important as the outcome of their tests. Their mental health matters more than a grade on one test does. It’s good to still make time for one’s self,” Kelser said.

Midterms are going to look different this year with the lack of on campus opportunities to study and shift to online testing that no one saw coming until this year. Adapting to this new normal is a challenge, but it can be conquered. 

“Self care is just as important for exams as studying is. I believe that in order to excel and perform at the highest level that people need to take care of themselves. Try to remember to take breaks and make time for yourself. Rest is key. Do not overexert yourself to the level of exhaustion,” Kelser said.