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I’m sitting at my desk in my room with four chapters worth of psychology notes in front of me. I just finished two of them, and decided that it was time to take a break. I sat back, stretched, and looked around. I realized that there are a lot of things worth remembering when your head is stuck in the books, and giving yourself time off really does help in the midst of midterms and exams. So here are five things that you should never forget amongst all the stress.

Number One: Food


I don’t know why, but when I start studying really hard, I literally forget to eat. When I finally put my notes down, I realize that I’m starving, but at the same time, much too tired to get food. Don’t sacrifice your health! Make sure you get good food too – fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and ease up on the coffee if you can. Kraft Dinner with espresso does not constitute a well-balanced diet!

Number Two: Sleep


Yes, all-nighters mean that you find a lot of “hidden time”. Just remember that productivity goes downwards very quickly after around two or three in the morning. You know that feeling you get when you’re so tired that you just can’t get any more tired? At that time, it’s most useful to get a full cycle (four hours) of sleep instead of trying to work. It’s just not worth it.
However, if you really need to pull an all-nighter, check out Brian’s tips here.

Number Three: Chores


I get it. Exam time gets crazy. However, that is no excuse for you to attract rats to your suite or pile up the dishes in the sink. It’s the little things that make you lose your mind, so keep everything in order so that you can focus. Putting off your chores just means that there are more things nagging at you at the back of your mind.

Number Four: Friends


Your best and closest friends are always there for you. If they can drop something when you’re in need, they will. Even in the midst of exam cram time (which you don’t have because you did all of your readings ahead of time…of course), your friends could stand to pull their head out of their textbooks for two or three hours, especially for you. Do something fun – have a meal, watch a movie, have a water gun fight, anything that you like. But whatever you do, don’t talk about school.

Number Five: Other Responsibilities


Don’t say “no” just because it’s exam time. Your family still needs you, you still have a commitment to those organizations that you’re a part of, and you still need to show up for work. Don’t forget about class either, especially those classes that you don’t have midterms for. We’re all busy people, but there are some things that you just need to do.

Best of luck on your midterms!

Photo courtesy of dawnzy58 via Flickr (CC BY 2.0).