Mid-March is simultaneously the worst and best time of the spring semester. Spring break is just around the corner—but you have to get through midterms first. 

Now that midterms are done, I just wanted to reflect a little on ways I attempt to study and/or take my mind off work during midterm season—after all, you can’t live at Leavey Library and stay sane. I also wanted to share some of the pretty flowers I’ve seen around campus to get everyone in the mood for spring and spring break!

Tip #1: Drink inordinate amounts of coffee from Dulce (oops).

For someone who normally avoids caffeine, I drink way too much coffee during midterm season. Then again, it feels kind of nice to go to Dulce in the morning and grab a jasmine tea latte before a study session.

 

Tip #2: Switch up your study location.

This doesn’t go for everyone, but I’m the type of person who can’t remain consistently productive in the same place for long periods of time; I need a change of scenery every couple of hours to help motivate me (and also because variety is the spice of life). This also gives me an opportunity to frequent some of the prettiest study locations on campus—the USC Village, the engineering quad, one of the little nooks outside the School of Cinematic Arts, or one of the libraries on campus (preferably Mudd Hall, although Leavey Library hits the spot once in a while when I’m truly desperate).

 

Tip #3: Take breaks!

Whether it’s hanging out with friends, going to a club meeting, or even just taking a nap, it’s so important to take study breaks. Whenever I find myself being less productive or getting easily distracted, I take that as a sign to stop what I’m doing for a little bit and switch to doing something else, so I can return to studying with a fresh mind. It’s definitely hard to make a point of doing this since it’s so easy to convince myself that breaks are unproductive, but I’ve learned over time that they are definitely necessary.

 

Tip #4: Prioritize sleep.

I’m absolutely terrible about this one, since my sleep schedule could admittedly be much better, but I know from experience that not getting enough sleep before a midterm is probably one of the worst things you can do; you’re not going to do as well if you’re tired than if you’re well-rested. I used to think that it was more important to have gone over all of the material for a test in depth than to have gotten a lot of sleep, but that’s definitely not the case. Most people know this, but to my fellow night owls, sleep is one of the best things you can do for yourself before a test!!

 

 

Tip #5: Treat yourself :))

Insomnia Cookies just opened up in the Village, and I’ve found that the double chocolate chunk cookie does wonders for motivating me to study. For my health, on the other hand…

Neha Yadav

Neha Yadav

MAJOR: Biomedical Engineering YEAR: Class of 2023 HOMETOWN: Benicia, California PRONOUNS: she/her/hers INSTA: @nehaha.838 On campus, I'm a project manager for Engineers Without Borders, on the Associated Students of Biomedical Engineering Executive Board, and a researcher at the USC Biomedical Microsystems Laboratory. I have some experience in entrepreneurship—I won the Min Family Social Entrepreneurship Challenge in 2020 and interned at two startups last summer. In my free time, I love reading, hiking, and road-tripping!

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