Midterms are often a time of stress and countless hours of studying. They mark the halfway point in the semester, and while it does not feel like it, 7 weeks of school have already passed. But, fear not, with the right study tips and plenty of preparation, acing those midterms will be a snap.
Step 1: Make a to-do list. By making a to-do list, you are able to see what all needs to be accomplished over the next few days. It is the easiest way to stay organized and ensure assignments are finished in the midst of the stress. Another tip when making lists, make sure to prioritize tasks. This helps with time management to avoid cramming for tests at the last minute. Another useful tool to staying organized is to use a planner with daily study goals. This ensures not only the to-do list is being accomplished, but also you are able to realistically tackle the material for your tests.
Step 2: Quiz yourself on the material. Often times, self-assessment is the easiest way to determine what you already know and what you have left to study. This can help you determine what material to focus on, rather than wasting time reviewing things you already have mastered. One easy way to quiz yourself is to make flash cards, study guides, or to review the questions at the end of each chapter. Quizlet is a free online study tool that allows you to make flash cards and play matching games to help learn the material faster.
Step 3: Study in productive groups. By studying in a group, you have a resource to ask questions on the material you are unclear about. It also gives you someone to go through practice problems and quiz you. Another study tip is to explain the material to someone else. If you are able to teach the material successfully, you will be able to remember it on the test.
Step 4: Add variety to your study spots. There are many more places than just the library to study. While the library is a great resource to study, our campus and surrounding area have many great places to study. Starbucks, Café Ventana, and the Center for Global Citizenship building are all quiet places to study around campus. Another place to study is the actual classroom where you will be taking the test. One thing to avoid is studying where there will be lots of distractions. Avoid studying with a television on to minimize distractions. Your study time is valuable and the less distractions around, the more effective your studying will be.
Step 5: Sleep. While midterms may be a sleep-deprived week, the best thing to prepare for exams this week is to get plenty of sleep. Your brain sorts and stores important information while you sleep. The best way to ensure you remember all of that material you spent hours studying is to sleep. It may seem like a good idea to stay up and sacrifice sleep to re-read that chapter one more time, but you will be more likely to remember what you study after a good night rest, rather than forcing yourself to stay up, cramming one more chapter. Sleeping also boosts your immune system, so if you are sacrificing sleep, chances of becoming ill increase.
Here at SLU, there are several resources on campus to aid you with your studying. Writing Services is one-on-one consultation to improve writing projects. To learn more about University Writing Services go to http://www.slu.edu/retention-and-academic-success/university-writing-services, or call the Student Success Center at 314-977-3484. Another great resource the Student Success Center offers is free Tutoring and Supplemental Instruction Services; to learn more visit: http://www.slu.edu/retention-and-academic-success/tutoring-and-supplemental-instruction.
While midterms can be a very stressful time for everyone, the most important thing to do this week is to take a deep breath, study as hard as you can, and to be proud of all of the hard work you put in. Remember, it is one week and with the right preparation, you will be successful!
“On my 14th birthday, I wrote in my journal that it would be my last birthday. I wasn’t trying to be morbid; I just couldn’t picture myself growing up. It’s not that I didn’t want to drive or vote or get married, it’s that I didn’t see it happening for me. That thought eventually worked itself deeper into my subconscious. What’s the point in good grades if I won’t be here for college? Why should I save money if I want ice cream and shoes now, if I don’t have to save for my first house? Why fall in love with him, if I’m leaving soon? Depression took a lot from me. It took away the future. I couldn’t let it keep it.”
October 8th is Depression Screening Awareness Day. The story above is told by one of our sisters here at Eta Omega, Alexis Toporowski. Today, one in four people will experience an episode of depression, but 2/3 of those with symptoms will never seek treatment. Often times, so many college students do not seek help due to the stigma around mental illnesses. Depression often is looked at as sadness, grief, weakness, or laziness. But it's time to look at what depression really is…
Two of our sisters decided to share their stories and show us what depression is. Alexis shared her definition of depression; “Depression is five days without a shower or a change of clothes. Depression is eating anything in sight and ordering even more. Depression is skipping classes, ignoring emails, not answering concerned texts and phone calls. It’s feeling alone, when you’re the one who isolated yourself.”
Savannah Frame, a member of Eta Omega, also shared her definition of depression. “Think of the last time you got sick. You know how you just don’t want to be around people when you have the flu or the cold? Your symptoms are so bad, so ugly, you can’t imagine sharing that snotty, stuffed-up version of yourself with someone else. Why would you subject them to that? So, you miss work, you miss class, you fall a bit behind, you stay home for a while. But that’s not you. It is not your own personal choice to be absent from class, it’s because you’re sick. You came down with something, you’re not well. You need time and help to heal, get better, and get back into the swing of things. That’s exactly what depression is like.”
It is possible to find strength and see past the darkness. Savannah said “I didn’t have the strength to seek help and get on plan for recovery until just a few months ago. But now, as I am properly medicated and seeing a counselor on a biweekly basis, I can honestly say that things are okay. And that in and of itself, is progress.”
“So, I’m here. I can see a future. Not in a crystal ball, but I can actually see myself celebrating my 21st birthday. For the first time, I see myself growing up. I have my dog, who will live 15 years, and I’ve thought about being sad when he dies. That means I’ll be here in 15 years.” Alexis said when asked about how she is doing today. “I’m still dizzy. I’m still stumbling. I’m still too tired to go on sometimes, but I’m here. And sometimes, I’m even okay."
Sometimes the hardest step is the first step in getting help. There are multiple resources available for someone who is struggling with this illness. Kappa Alpha Theta has supported those who are struggling with mental illness through Sisters Supporting Sisters. Sisters Supporting Sisters is an initiative to create a safe environment for members to discuss mental illness. The program also encourages Thetas to support and care for one another, especially focusing on emotional and mental health. Sisters Supporting Sisters assists college chapters by providing resources to open up dialogue, guides to recognizing signs of mental and emotional challenges, and ways to help sisters who are struggling.
If you ever are in a crisis, please consider calling Talk One-2-One at 1-800-756-3124, day or night. Saint Louis University also provides counseling located in Wuller Hall Monday-Friday 8:00 am-5:00pm, and hotline to call as well, (314) 977-TALK (8255). Please never be afraid to ask for help and reach out to a friend.
“Love is so much louder than anything this illness can make you believe. Even when it’s hard to love yourself, even when it’s not the easiest thing to see, you are surrounded by faith, hope, and so, so much love.”
…Is exactly what the Eta Omega chapter did on our annual sisterhood Retreat did this past weekend. The women of Kappa Alpha Theta boarded the bus and traveled to the camp where they would spend the weekend bonding with their sisters.
The women broke out into groups and played games in friendly competition. One of the favorite games was making human sculptures based on various movies or songs. One of the new members, Natalie Riopelle, said that her favorite part of Retreat was playing the games. “Being on a team together and being competitive and silly made it feel like I’d known those girls for years!”
After playing outdoor games, the groups participated in skits. Each group was given a first line and a last line. The creativity in the room with the skits had all of the women bursting with laughter. The women ended the night on a more serious note by gathering together and sharing their Theta stories, and for many women in the chapter, it is their moment when they felt truly at home. Myranda Martin said this was her favorite part. “I was unsure of how the community interacted as a whole, but after this retreat, I know I’m home. I’m where I belong and that is a blessing all in itself.” Another member, Anna Vettiankal, said her favorite part about Retreat was the reflection because “it is when my sisters can share their Theta stories, moments, and experiences that further reassured them that thinking Theta was one of their best choices during their time at SLU. It was also a time where I was even more amazed and made aware of how beautiful inside-and-out, ambitious, loving, and inspiring all of my sisters are.”
Photos by Savannah Frame of Framework Photography.
We are the Eta Omega chapter of Kappa Alpha Theta at Saint Louis University. We were established on November 9th, 2013. We have over 180 wonderful sisters that are alike in many ways but all with unique interests. Our blog will highlight many of these.