Fall has arrived! The air is cooler, the leaves are crunching under your boots, sweater weather is upon us…JUST kidding – it’s New Orleans and still 90 degrees with no sign of relief or polychromatic leaves.  But here at Loyola, there is still one unmistakable sign of Autumn present: midterms.  At the UCC, we know how stressful this first round of papers and exams can be, and want to make sure you go in feeling as confident as possible.  So grab that double shot of espresso and run down this list of five midterm tips to help you make the grade without making yourself question your degree.

  1. Fuel your brain.  The library can be like a casino: dark, dismal, and before you know it you’ve been inside of it for 48 hours without sunlight or food.  To keep yourself alert and able to better retain information, munch on power foods such as blueberries, nuts, sunflower seeds, and granola in-between meal times.  When it’s time for dinner, grab some salmon and avocado – the omega-3s and fatty acids are essential for prime brain function.   And don’t forget dessert! Dark chocolate contains natural caffeine as well stimulates the production of endorphins, which helps improve mood – which everyone needs at midterms.
  2. Sleep.  Eight hours a night during crunch time may be unrealistic, but you shouldn’t be limiting yourself to less than five.  Your mind and body both need rest to be on your best game for that Spanish oral exam first thing in the AM.
  3. Try a study group.  Sure, you can’t co-write your Poli-Sci paper with the guy who sits behind you, but there’s no reason not to buddy up and share notecards for an exam study session.  Splitting up sections to review can help lighten the load and studying with friends can keep you sane on hour seven of cramming for Organic Chemistry.
  4. Take breaks.  Sitting over the books for long periods of time can make you sluggish and decrease your ability to focus.  For every hour you study, stand up and stretch or take a 10 minute walk to increase the blood flow to your brain!  Try doing the stairs at Monroe to re-energize you for the long haul.  We’re not recommending you take a break from writing your research paper to watch Clueless for the 13th time – but giving your mind a break and catching up with your best friend from back home gives your brain the rest it needs to be able to retain information once you go back to the books.
  5. Find a good study spot.  Roommate getting on your nerves?  The girl eating her chips in the library in the loudest way possible driving you nuts?  Branch out!  Loyola’s campus is filled with great study nooks.  Once you find yours, keep it sacred.  Don’t bring items you know will distract you and tuck your phone away in your backpack except for breaks.

Above all else – you know yourself the best.  Make sure you study in a way that works well for you and you are sure to succeed!  If you do start to feel overwhelmed, the UCC is here to help.  Just call (504) 865 – 3835 or visit us on the second floor of the Danna Student Center, Room 208. Office hours are Monday – Friday, 8:30am – 4:45pm.  Good luck and remember, Fall Break is only 10 short days away. You can do it!


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