As end of semester looms, students take different approaches to studying, staying motivated

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It is almost the end of the semester; students might feel defeated coming out of midterms, whether those meant exams, projects, papers or a mixture of them all. Studying, writing, creating, planning, executing — midterms are similar to finals in that students work so hard to try to stay ahead of the game in their classes, yet they are left feeling overwhelmed and exhausted.

“Midterms were crazy for me,” said Hillary L’Ecuyer, junior in interior design. “I had two studio projects due, as well as two normal exams. It was not a fun time for me.”

Even though L’Ecuyer felt overwhelmed with her midterm projects and exams, she took time out for herself. She said she plans fun weekends with friends and family members on Friday and Saturday and leaves Sunday to school work. She also works for three to four hours at a time then takes a break, which she suggested students do while studying. She said she thinks breaks work well.

“Get sleep,” L’Ecuyer said. “Don’t sweat if a grade doesn’t come back as high as you want it. And don’t be afraid to treat yourself to the nicer things in life, for example chocolate, coffee, the occasional alcoholic beverage. You know, the stuff that is bad for you.”

The biggest step she suggested to people was not to be afraid to reach out for help and support. She said whether it is friends, family, professors or classmates, K-State is a family and we need to be there for each other.

Stephanie Samaniego, sophomore in kinesiology, said time management was one of the hardest things about midterms week. She said managing her time was incredibly hard and she constantly felt like she had too much going on. 

Samaniego suggested using planners to help stay organized. 

“I think a good way to do something is to plan to do it with someone,” Samaniego said. “Studying with other people motivates you to push harder for whatever you want. You are more likely to slack off unless you meet up with someone. Holding each other accountable is a huge thing that really helps me when it comes to studying and finishing my work.”

Motivation is a key concept for students when they need to be accountable for studying and doing homework. Will Harmon, sophomore in English and creative writing, said he didn’t have a hard time with the one midterm he had.

“I stay motivated by staying on top of things and get them done as early as I can,” Harmon said. “If I can stay away from rushing and stressing, I can stay away and ignore the demotivation creature that likes to sit in our ears.”

Harmon echoed L’Ecuyer, saying that staying positive about exams, papers and studying is one of the most beneficial things one can do. Harmon also said people need to know what to work on for their classes. 

Every student has their own ideas of how to study and most react differently to the amount of stress midterms and finals bring.

“If you believe you will do well, you will,” Harmon said.

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