The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Monday August 15th

Editorial: Stressed about midterms? We can help

<p>DTH Photo Illustration. Studying for exams is stressful for everyone, so we have some tips to get you through midterm season.</p>
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DTH Photo Illustration. Studying for exams is stressful for everyone, so we have some tips to get you through midterm season.

It’s that time again — the part of the semester where we’re all dreading midterms and freaking out over our grades. 

However, as college students, we all inevitably tend to procrastinate or get side-tracked whenever we try to study. Here are a few tips to aid you in your study endeavors:

A change of scenery. 

We find that a lot of the time, studying in your room can often be hard due to the many distractions that are present in your room. Who wants to study when your comfy bed is just five feet away? 

Therefore, it can be helpful to go to a different location where you’ll be less tempted to get cozy and comfortable. We recommend either the libraries that are on-campus or the Student Union — these public places almost force you to focus on your tasks as you don’t have the items in your room to tempt you to stop working.

Listen to music. 

Studying can be tedious, especially if you’re trying to cram for your midterms. But studies have shown that listening to music can actually help you maintain focus because it engages the areas of the brain involved with paying attention, making predictions and updating the event in memory." Of course, this doesn’t apply to everyone as some might find listening to music distracting instead of helpful.

For some of us, listening to foreign language music, particularly if it’s in a language you don’t understand, actually helps a lot to focus. You still get the benefits of listening to music, but because you don’t understand the lyrics at all, you just ignore what’s actually being said. 

So whether it’s K-pop or Spanish music, try adding a few foreign language songs on Spotify or Apple Music and see how it works out!

Take breaks in between. 

Sometimes it’s best to take a short break every once in a while to allow yourself to relax and refresh your mind. Indeed, some studies show that taking breaks every 90 minutes or so can help you maintain your focus. 

How you take your breaks is also important. Going for a short walk around campus or other forms of exercise can be a refreshing contrast from just sitting around staring at your textbook or laptop.

Start early. 

While this may seem like a no-brainer, it’s still good to remind ourselves to start studying early, rather than try to cram one to two days before the exam. Not only will you be more relaxed, but it’ll also allow you more time to ask for help from fellow students or your professor.

Study with others. 

It can be very beneficial to study with your classmates. Not only can you help each other with problems, but you can also bounce ideas off one another and get immediate feedback. 

While it can be hard to form study groups during the pandemic, the benefit of having others to encourage and help you is a great way to study. It might even help you focus more, since you’re less likely to procrastinate in the presence of others. It’s also a good way to form connections with your peers and create a sense of community that many have found hard to come by during COVID-19

These are just some of the tips we have to help you study for your midterms and beyond. This time of the semester is always stressful and tiring, but we know that our Tar Heels are up to it!


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