How to Survive Midterms

Midterms are in full swing at Hope this week, and they’ve made this week really, really busy. Not only does it seem like every professor makes 58 extra things due this week, but half-semester classes end with big exams, new half-semester classes start with unfamiliar professors and workloads, seniors are taking the GRE and applying to grad schools, applications for committees and programs are due, and everything else that could possibly be stressful is happening as well, plus the rest of life rushes on as we know it.

Midterms can be really, really hard, mostly because they kind of slap you in the face. So far this semester, a lot of us have been chugging along on our work, not really ahead, but feeling like we are in pretty good shape, and definitely not behind. Sometimes the beginning of the semester can trick you into thinking that the next few months will be a piece of cake. Then midterms happen and they remind you that you are in college and college is hard.

How do you get through midterms without losing your mind? Sometimes it seems impossible, but in reality, it’s very doable. Many people before all of us have done it, and many will continue to do it afterward. These are my best tips for making midterms more manageable!

Get outside.

Check out these beautiful trees on Hope’s campus in the Pine Grove! I posted this photo to my Instagram a few days ago.

Holland is so, so beautiful this time of year. Even if you just take a stroll through campus, make sure to pay attention to the fall colors and the beauty that surrounds you before all the leaves fall and it’s too cold outside to really enjoy it!

Go somewhere different.

I am usually a Lemonjello’s person, but this week I’ve been doing homework at JP’s just to get into a different environment. Going somewhere different that still feels like a studious environment can help me feel more excited to get work done.

Make a new playlist.

I like having good playlists to listen to while I work (or just to drown out noise around me), but a lot of times I get stuck on the same old ones I’ve been listening to for months. Making new playlists can definitely make studying more enjoyable. Here’s the one I’m working on at the moment!

Contact an old friend.

Talking to a friend from junior high or high school can really help brighten your day! It is fun to catch up on what is going on in other people’s lives and get to know them more, especially if you haven’t spoken in a while!

Take time to rest.

Make sure to get enough sleep and take adequate breaks while you work. One reward I happen to really enjoy is going to Applebee’s for half-off apps at the end of the day, but sometimes I reward myself with a nap or even a quick trip to grab a cinnamon roll from the Windmill for lunch!

Thanks for reading! Check out my Twitter (@hopekathryn17), Instagram (@kathrynekrieger), Etsy (LakesPointCollective), or send me an email at!

“So the Word became human and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son.”

John 1:14

Posted inAcademics

Published by Kathryn Krieger

I'm a Hope junior from Princeton, Illinois, majoring in Ethics, Culture, and Social Witness with a music minor. I am a follower of Christ and I am involved in Chapel Worship Team at Hope. Previously, I have been involved in Chapel Choir, Black River WyldLife, Res Life, Dance Marathon, a small women's Bible study, College Chorus, Women's Chamber Choir, and Collegium Musicum. I also currently help lead music at Pillar Church! I also love pork chop sandwiches, music of all kinds, The Office, and my wonderful friends and family! Contact me at, @kathrynekrieger on Instagram, or @hopekathryn17 on Twitter!

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1 Comment

  1. Hey Kathryn, you bring back some very real memories for me. It’s been over five years since I graduated university now and surviving midterms and final exams was always a lot of work, probably more work than actually writing them.

    I’m a huge advocate of studying (or in my case now – working) to music. Your tip for creating a new playlist is spot-on! I find music without lyrics helps improve your concentration. For this, either post-rock or video-game soundtracks are a good choice. Music with lyrics in a language you don’t understand is a decent alternative as well. Salsa can be helpful.

    This doesn’t end after you graduate. I use music in my day to day, whether I’m freelancing or working at Keystone Steam Supplies I usually have some track playing in the background.

    After all, coffee only takes you so far :). Best of luck!

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