As midterm season swings into full gear, my life as an engineer has gotten more stressful. However, there are plenty of things to do that help me get through the chaos.

First off, I listen to a lottttt of music. I have Pandora stations with anything ranging form Rap, to Alternative Rock, Electronica, and to Jazz. Whenever I start studying for my tests, I’ll usually throw on the Jazz station (Billie Holiday) and go to town solving practice problems and past homeworks to give me some practice. However, if I get too stressed and just need to let some steam off, I’ll put on Beastie Boys’ Sabotage on full blast. That usually does the trick :). I’ve got stations for any other mood in between, and, without them, I’ve found that I have trouble focusing.

The second thing is I make sure to take breaks. Whenever I study, I’ll always plan about an hour break of surfing the net, watching my favorite show, or going for a walk outside. After the break, I feel refreshed and ready to continue studying through the night.

The last thing that I’ve found to be the most important is to find a good study spot where you feel comfortable. For some reason, I can’t stand to go to the regular library: it just feel uneasy when I study there. Nor can I do work at home since I tend to get distracted there. So, I’ve found that the best place to do work and where I am most productive is in my research laboratory on campus. It’s get all of the key ingredients I need to study: lots of work space, air conditioning, a good speaker system, and two computer monitors for optimum window flipping 😀

So wherever you end up, if you find yourself getting stressed for midterms, try the same tricks out!