Although exam dates are clearly marked on course syllabi (does anyone but the section kid even read those?), their impending approach still surprises Harvard students as much as the New Haven Community College's recent football win.
Do you have trouble accepting the midterms’ existence? Did your attention span disappear because you scrolled through too many Flyby articles? Do you break out in cold sweat every time your TF emails you with yet another reminder about an upcoming review session? Don’t worry—the next few weeks don't have to be blemished by a cycle of stress if you're smart about tackling the season. Flyby has compiled our best midterm survival tips for acing (or at least passing) your exams and keeping your sanity in the process.
Switch up your study spots
Please leave that armchair you’ve been glued to for the past 2 days—Lamont Cafe is not going anywhere. Studying in the same spot not only makes you feel a bit more dead inside but also decreases your information retention. So get up, bring your work with you and finally conquer Widener’s many steps or trek across the river to Harvard Business School. You might even catch a celebrity or two if you head over there. If you are feeling particularly brave, maybe even venture outside the Harvard bubble.
Try to be healthy
As boring and condescending this may sound, try to sleep sometimes, eat a vegetable or two, and drink water instead of shots (though really, if you’re drinking before your exams you may want to reevaluate your life choices). It’s as simple as this: you cannot ace your exams on vending machine fare and library futon naps alone.
Take unconventional study breaks
Instead of binging the Office for the billionth time, maybe do something actually fun for a change. Take a long walk through the Commons, visit CAMHS therapy dogs, or channel your Bob Ross with the coloring book your Secret Santa got you from Urban Outfitters. Trust us: you'll feel refreshed and ready for another 1.5x speed lecture video in no time.
Remember personal hygiene
Please shower. Seriously. If you are feeling lazy (and don’t care about your social life) at least spritz on some dry shampoo to look presentable for your section crush.
Get the help you need
You don’t have to fight this battle alone—tap into Harvard’s numerous resources, like office hours or the Bureau of Study Counsel to survive the academic onslaught. You can also form a study group or ask the aforementioned section kid to explain the material to you. Just don’t forget about the Honor Code if you want to still suffer through midterms next semester.
Laminate your notes to ward off tears and food stains and remember this: if Britney could make it through 2007, you can survive midterm season.