Thoughts from Tutors

Midterm Madness Survival Guide

By Rachel Onishi
Master Tutor

  • Go to your professor’s office hours. Professors usually want to know you and they want to see you succeed in their class.
  • Go shopping, or call mom and dad, and create a study survival kit. Ideas for items to include: favorite snacks/candy, energy drink/coffee, new pens or pencils (pick fun colors if that’s your thing), highlighters, variety of notecards, whatever will help you get in the zone.
  • Eat carbs. Carbohydrates are brain food. Seriously, your brain is fueled only by the energy provided by carbs. It’s not a bad idea to study with your favorite bag of chips or pretzels, just in moderation of course.
  • Be adventurous and discover a few places that might actually encourage studying. Research studies have shown that studying in your room or on your bed, not only hinders learning, but also messes with your ability to rest/sleep well in that space.
  • Here’s a list of great study spots that I recommend:
    • Market Street, it’s a grocery store I know, BUT it has a great area to the left of the coffee bar. It is spacious, well lit, has free wifi, and it is open 24/7. Perfect for late nights.
    • Coffee shops like YellowHouse, Gatsby’s, and J&B provide calm escape.
    • If it’s a beautiful day and you don’t need internet access, take a blanket or a hammock to a park
    • The TTU library, no surprise with this one, the library is a sanctuary of silence and low temperatures.
  • If you’re someone who likes complete silence or gets distracted by the environment when you study, noise-cancelling headphone might be worth investing in. I love my Phillips headphones. I’ve tried my friends Beats, and I still think Phillips are more comfortable and better at blocking noise. Look on Amazon for major price cuts.
  • Find a study playlist that helps you get in the groove. I recommend music without words. Spotify has incredible options under “browse” and “focus”. I personally enjoy “acoustic concentration”.
  • Set measurable goals throughout your study session. For example, study for 30 minutes, then take a break and watch a YouTube video or check social media. The point is to be realistic with how long you can focus, which may be longer or shorter than 30 minutes, but it doesn’t matter.

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