Witches? Skeletons? You’ve got to be kidding me, we all know that the real monsters here are the much dreaded MIDTERMS.
I don’t know about you, but I’m still grieving in the corner for my English mark. Not to mention that it’s also the first midterm report of the year—competition and stress are already collecting like cobwebs, and there’s still an entire school year ahead… It may seem grim at times, but don’t be discouraged! Here are some tips for surviving midterms, and even beyond:
Reflect on mistakes, and move forward.
So you failed this question on a math quiz because you mixed up the addition and subtraction signs. (A sad but true story.) Instead of wallowing in regret, hone your skills so that you have eyes of a hawk when it comes to double checking! Of course, reflection is not always so straight-forward. After tackling an assignment, pinning it down, then sitting in front of it for hours, it’s easy to become immune to possible faults made along the way and simply shake the task from your hands, declaring it completed. Thus, feedback from a teacher, parent, or peer is important; a fresh perspective helps identify areas for improvement which you may have overlooked.
But how do you live with such a mistake? The tarnished average, the dishonor! I recommend looking over your work one last time, then jotting down some notes-to-self: a list of lessons learned and topics you’re still working on. Now, feel free to slide that test or assignment away in the dark depths of a desk drawer, or a closet. You can always dig it back up for reference, but at the moment, it will be out of sight and out of mind. Instead, focus on that list you wrote. Use it as a study guide so that you never suffer from the same mistake again!
Reward yourself, no matter how great or small the accomplishment! From my experience, homework completion is positively correlated with the promise of good food! ;) Even in a hardcore study session, find some time to take breaks. The app Pomodoro is a great way to balance work and relaxation. “Pomodoro” not only is a cool Italian word for “tomatoes”, but it also dedicates 25 minutes for work. When the timer goes off, Pomodoros alternates with 5 minute breaks. Productivity with less stress—give it a try!
In the end, there are a billion reasons to be proud of what you do! Give yourself some positive self talk and encouragement. You will pull through! In fact, you being here and reading this blog post is already pretty awesome.
Take risks and try something new.
Yes, I’m asking you to go out and look for something that you’re scared to do. Something that will broaden your horizons—and ultimately, put you outside of your comfort zone. Contemplating trying out for varsity soccer? Have ideas for a startup? Thinking about switching to a challenging course? Just do it! Even if your knees quiver at the mere thought of it, I’m encouraging you to stand your ground and get into action. For in the end, you will learn so much, and it will be completely worth it. In fact, when looking back, midterms and marks will be just be one of the many hurdles which you’ve overcome!
Also, keep in mind that you’re far from alone when it comes to stress survival: resources are everywhere! Friends, family, teachers, guidance counselors, blog managers…
That’s why we’re introducing Ask FCSS-FESC! (more details to come!) Submit your questions, suggestions, or anything else you want us to write about here on the blog, and we’ll post about it. All questions are anonymous, so ask away!
Secondary school will always be a balance between trick and treat, but even if everything seems to be going downhill, that just means you can apply less force!
All the best,