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17 Ways To Make Reading Week Productive & Survive Your Midterms

With good study habits comes less sleepless nights, better grades and possibly even a life outside of school (I know, crazy, right?). We've got your survival guide for making your Reading Week productive and surviving midterm season!

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1. Take the first day off and just do nothing. Nothing at all.

Catch up on your favourite shows, lie in bed for hours and fill up on some Thanksgiving turkey (or tofurkey!). You've had your fair share of busy days leading up to midterm time. If you don't have a bunch of exams, you have a ton of major projects due. You'll get more work done and be more productive the rest of reading week if you just take a couple days to unwind and relax. It's much better for your mental health.

2. Write a to-do list

The classic way to keep track of all the stuff you need to do for school is by writing a to-do list. Every week, grab a piece of paper, write the date and all the things you need to get done that week. Keep adding on to the list and cross off the ones you finished. This is a simple, yet effective way to make sure you stay productive and get stuff done.

3. Clear your mind

If your mind is all cluttered, you won't be as productive or determined to get things done. Do some meditation, yoga, or even taking deep breaths to clear your mind and get a fresh start.

4. Set goals

Remember that a goal does not have to always be long-term; goals can be short-term as well. For instance, throughout your day, set mini goals aside. Schedule time for your first draft, or paragraph by paragraph, to chop your essay or study time into smaller, manageable bits. This will give you a drive to push yourself and accomplish that goal. As a result, you feel awesome and get stuff done!

5. Take breaks

Trying to get as much as you can in one sitting is not the best way to be productive nor is it healthy. In fact, it will probably decrease your productivity because you'll be tired and get extremely drained much faster. Every half hour just stand up and do some stretches or go and walk around your house, the library or whatever study space you might be in. Refuel with food, take a power-nap, go for a walk, or read a book for pleasure; do something creative that keeps your mind working but in a different way. Don't just scroll through your social media feeds, and give yourself a set time for your break before you get back to work! Think of it like recess!

6. Use a calendar

With university comes a ton of deadlines and dates for many different classes. These deadlines can often be hard to keep track of. However, the use of a calendar is an easy way to stay on top of your courses and never miss a due date. If you like to see things on a larger scale, use a dry-erase board with a built in calendar. If you prefer something to be by your side at all times, use an agenda. Remember those agendas Ryerson gave during orientation week this year? Put them into some good use!

7. Find a comfortable un-distracting study space

I find that when I go and study at the library, I get more work done. This is because I see other people studying and that really motivates me to do more. Not to mention, it's really REALLY quiet.

8. Lay out all your work in front of you

This is another way of visually stimulating yourself. Once you know that there is a lot to do, you'll get down to it. Lay out your workspace so you have snacks ready (very important!) you books to one side and your computer in front of you, if you need it. A computer may end up being a bit distracting but you've just got to stay focused.

9. Don't panic

Things will not going to get done overnight. You may have a lot to do but realize that they will not get done by panicking, but by staying calm and relaxed.

10. Use other methods to study

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Falling asleep while doing your readings? There are alternative ways to study! Watch YouTube videos, documentaries, etc... It'll keep you both entertained and informed!

11. Stay optimistic

Keep a positive outlook on whatever you are trying to accomplish. Positive thoughts will attract positivity in your life. Telling yourself that you can get that certain essay done by a certain hour at the best quality possible will drive you to actually make it happen.

12. Drinks lots of fluids, preferably water.

The reason I say water is because large amounts of coffee simply isn't good for you, nor do you need the caffeine crash at the end of reading week. Keep drinkin' those fluids and remember to breathe deeply whenever you get stressed out. Some yoga or a evening walk really isn't a bad idea.

13. Manage your time

It's difficult not wanting to procrastinate and always leaving things for the last minute. You tell yourself you will never pull that all night-er again just to finish that essay but it seems to happen again and again. By being aware of how much time you have and need for each class, you will no longer have to pull that all night-er and create better study habits overtime.

14. Get adequate amounts of sleep

During Reading Week is the perfect time to sleep and one of the only times you'll get any between now and Christmas break. TAKE ADVANTAGE. Not only will you get more work done on at least 8 hours of sleep, you'll feel refreshed and ready to go when school starts up again. Make up for those late nights studying. SLEEEEEP!

15. Shut down your social media for a couple days

Yes, I know, I'm crazy! But crazy people get stuff done. So until you've gotten your big projects and assignments out of the way, stay away from Facebook , Twitter, Instagram and any other platform you may be using. You need to stay focused. It'll be difficult but you'll appreciate it later when you are homework-free and out having fun!

16. Meet with your professors and TAs

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Don't completely understand something? Unsure of whether you're on the right track for an assignment? Don't panic. Meet with your professors and TAs. They are there to help you if you need clarification, or if you just want advice on your assignments!

17. Study with classmates

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Studying with classmates is a great way to prepare for that big midterm test! Study better as a lone wolf? Comparing and sharing notes works as well.

Woohoo, you now know how to survive midterm season! Go knock the socks off those tests and essays! If you follow one, or even all these rules, you are bound to be on top of your academic game not just during midterms but throughout the year!