How to Maintain Your Mental Health During Midterms

Abby Nam, Sophia Edwards, and Izzy Aslin

Midterm season is quickly approaching, and with it comes heightened stress, constant studying, and sleep deprivation. It can seem daunting to balance seven classes’ worth of information from the past five months, and for many of us these will be our first midterms ever. However, we have some tips for managing your stress this January: 

    • Balance your time between studying and fun activities. Prioritize a few of your hardest subjects to study for each day — a little goes a long way, and it is much better than doing nothing at all. Leave time for relaxing hobbies such as reading, listening to music, meditating, painting, and going for a walk (check out this website for places to go walking in New Jersey!). 
  • Study with your friends! Research shows that studying with others not only improves your overall mood, but helps you encode the information more deeply than if you were learning the information independently. Studying at the library or at Track 5 can also help you incentivize this mundane task. 
  • Talk to your teachers. Ask if they can provide a study guide or description of the basic outline of the test. 
  • Don’t cram! According to psychology, spaced-out studying tends to produce stronger memories than studying all at once. Try out different studying strategies like the Pomodoro Method, or try these other methods to improve your studying experience.
  • Get organized. Invest in a physical planner or use your Google Calendar/phone calendar (it’s there for a reason). 
  • Sleep at least 8 hours a night. This, unsurprisingly, may be the hardest goal for many of us, in terms of quality and quantity. Spacing out your work for your exams can also help you boost your resting hours. Moreover, if you have a problem disconnecting from your phone/electronic device at night, set a restriction under the “Screen Time” section in Settings that will lock your apps after a certain time (Apple devices).


Additionally, a Dialogue staff member interviewed a teacher to get advice for students during midterm season. When asked for advice on preparing mentally for midterms, Mr. Wagenblast, CHS’s AP Psychology teacher, said that the best way to study was to make the “information meaningful.” Tactics such as chunking, the grouping of information, and mnemonic devices assist in your recall of information. Using different colored pens for each subject also helps you to organize your material – and makes notes taking more involved.

Even if you only remember one of these tips during your midterms study sessions, you can mitigate some of the stress that accompanies studying a semester’s worth of information. Good luck!