This week marks the official Fall 2014 midterm. With only six weeks of class left until finals week, it’s time to buckle down or enjoy the rest of the ride until December.

For freshman, this could be the first time the word “midterm” holds any meaning, and this adjustment can be a scary thing. College newcomers have been on campus for two months and are finally starting to settle into their routines at this home away from home.

For other students, the word “midterm” can be meaningless. Some professors don’t see the point in offering a specific test for a midterm when they have their own schedules of assignments and tests spread throughout the semester.

No matter where you might find yourself on the midterm spectrum, there are some things that you can do to make this week and all that follow as painless as possible.

If there have midterms, students tend to find themselves trying to find ways to relieve the stress that they cause. Partying? Alcohol? Pitching a hammock and enjoying the breeze before the cold weather gets here? No matter what the coping mechanism is, everyone that gets caught up in the five (or more) due dates that seem to all fall in the same dreaded week really start to see the need to unwind. Make sure that you find a (safe) way to relax; otherwise you might find patches of missing hair during class next week.

On top of the chaos that is midterms week, clubs and organizations are hosting events, doing fundraisers, and trying to make their presence on campus known. Students find themselves stretched in every possible direction all at once, which can get pretty stressful. Everyone starts to find out if they bend or break under pressure, so make sure that you know how much is too much to handle. Pace yourself.

In the hustle and bustle of midterm week, there is a very effective twelve-story solution. For all those who don’t know, the Houston Cole Library stays open until 11p.m. during the week to accommodate those who need a quiet corner to hide in.

Traffic at Jazzman’s picks up as students file in with their backpacks, laptops, and textbooks. Imagine deciding not to grab some caffeine before your study session and then waking up on the 5th floor in the dark at 2a.m.—talk about a study session fit for a horror movie.

When you study, study in groups. You’ve heard it before, and you will hear it again: studying in groups can help you focus and in most cases get a higher grade. Get together with a few of the people in your class and plan to study together before the midterm date. Not only does this tip apply to midterm week, but in general when studying for a big test that can make or break your grade in a class.

With cold weather on the way and stores already gearing up for the holiday season, it’s hard to remember that we should slow down and enjoy the college experience from time to time. That leads to my last tip: enjoy the ride. Whether you’re a first-year freshman or a third-year senior, appreciate the little things and don’t let the semester completely pass you by.

Alex McFry
Associate Editor

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