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Avoiding the Mid-Term Madness

As a first semester freshman, you are experiencing mid-terms for the first time.  For some of you it will be a formal project, paper, or exam.  For others, mid-terms simply refer to your current grade in a course.  Whichever it is, you probably want to avoid the potential stress and anxiety that accompany mid-terms, particularly the former.  Although it may all feel new, there are ways to get a handle on mid-terms and avoid the madness.

The first order of business is to know what's being covered and/or the criteria for your mid-term. When you know the material that is being covered on your mid-term you can accurately pinpoint what to study and fill in any gaps in your understanding. With a paper or project, knowing the criteria allows you to properly plan what you are writing and/or creating. I'm not a musician or performer, but it's possible there's a piece you will have to play and if that's the case, know what your instructor expects in terms of delivery. No matter what, you can be more intentional when you know.

Once you know what's being covered or the criteria, it's time to make your game plan. For an exam, create a study guide, use office hours and help rooms, and form study groups. Your mid-term project or paper will require you create a timeline for the phases or drafts. Build a little buffer time into your timeline to leave wiggle room should something not go well or you hit an obstacle.

Don't forget to take time to recharge your batteries as you prepare for your exam, write your paper, or work on your project. It's important to have an outlet - something you can do to relax and/or take your mind off your frustrations. When you find yourself getting into your head, take a walk, play a pick-up game or basketball, or watch an episode of your favorite show. Then revisit your work with a new frame of mind. That's how you create that balance.

Whether anyone has told you this or not, your freshman year hinges on how well you adjust to being a college student. That adjustment is what will help you as you manage your time, go see your professors, study, and participate in the experience. Every aspect of your college career is part of a process. Being able to confidently take the actions listed in this post put your more in charge of the process than you realize. Take the reins. Even when you don't know exactly what you're doing, sharing that with the right people is still powerful.



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