Success Center stresses self-care, physical activity as midterms begin

Student finds a window in his day to study for an upcoming midterm exam in the Moody Memorial Library. Kenneth Prabhakar | Photo Editor

By Sarah Wang | Staff Writer

As midterm season approaches, professionals from the Paul L. Foster Success Center offer advice for students as they prepare for exams.

There are two paths of preparation students should follow for their exams: the academic and a psychosocial perspective, Mary Stephenson, assistant vice provost for student success, and Dr. Chad Eggleston, assistant vice provost for academic operations and advising, said.

From the academic perspective, Eggleston said there are three things students should consider: listen to professors carefully, study the syllabus and utilize any possible study groups.

“If a professor has given you a study guide, you should take good care of that,” Eggleston said. “If the professor doesn’t give a study guide, it’s not inappropriate to ask the professor, ‘How can I best prepare for this exam?'”

Although the academic part plays an important role, Stephenson said students should think beyond just academics. She said focusing on self-care is one of the skills necessary to prepare psychosocially for an exam.

“I think a lot of students don’t realize the value of self-care, but physical activities like exercising and walking help with our mental ability and mental health state,” Stephenson said. “Whatever students find valuable to help them relax mentally, it will help them to prepare for their exams as well.”

Stephenson said the things that are undervalued by students include eating right and getting enough rest in addition to self-care.

“I know it’s hard to do because there’s lots of studying, but getting the amount of rest is really important because your brain can function better and your mental health is better,” Stephenson said.

According to Eggleston, other strategies to prepare for exams include using hand-written notes, in-class networks and Success Center resources to “game the test.”

Eggleston said one of the resources many students use is the Office of Access and Learning Accommodation. He said for students with approved accommodations, there’s great wisdom in using them.

Other resources the Success Center offers include Center for Academic Success and Engagement (CASE).

CASE provides tutoring, studying strategies and supplemental instruction, which are outside study sessions for students. Additionally, there are many other sections designed to help student groups cope with their particular needs in both academic and personal lives through its website.

According to Stephenson, there are different strategies for students to prepare for their exams depending on the subject being taught. She said the most valuable advice for students was to always get tips from their professors.

With spring break right around the corner, Stephenson and Eggleston said they believe rather than being a factor that affects students’ performances, the break will be a great time for students to rest and come back vibrant and ready to finish the semester.