How to survive midterms
On behalf of the entire Cavalier Daily staff, I would like to extend a warm “Happy Midterms!” to all you lucky test takers out there — a.k.a. all of you. If you haven’t done so already, bid your roommate a fond ‘Auf Wiedersehen’ and get cozy in Club Clem because this seemingly endless time of year is just getting started. The nonstop flurry of tests and papers isn’t the only thing to look forward to, of course. There’s also the perpetual sleep-deprived, mentally drained, anxiety- and mucus-ridden zombie-like state many of you will be experiencing. Let’s face it: midterms blow. I can’t come up with a more elegant word to do this soul-sucking part of the year justice. I have no cure, but I do have some suggestions on how to make this trying time a little less miserable.
Get a flu shot. All of you. I know exactly what you non-believers are thinking, and I’m just going to stop you right now before you launch into your protesting tale about that one time when your third cousin fell fatally ill immediately after she was vaccinated. Come on. I expect more from U.Va. students. The little viruses floating around in the syringe won’t infect you. They can’t because they’re inactivated. If you don’t trust me, look it up on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Flu shots are like cell phones. They’re helpful if a few people have them, but the positive externalities increase dramatically when more and more people participate — shout out to Professor Elzinga. I’m not a germaphobe, but no one can contest the fact that college is an absolute cesspool of germs. Make your life simpler and keep as many illness-causing critters away from you as possible.
I’m not going to pretend that you’re going to sleep a reasonable amount. But at least you can maximize the effectiveness of the sleep you are getting. When you’re running low on Z’s head to www.sleepyti.me to find out exactly when you should wake up so that you don’t interrupt an REM cycle and suffer in a drowsy haze for the entire day.
While you’re on the web, download the SelfControl app for your laptop. It’s a program that allows you to block websites for hours at a time. At this point it has probably saved me days worth of hours wasted on boredom-induced Facebook stalking binges.
I wasn’t kidding when I suggested you move in to Club Clem. Actually, I would opt for Clark or Alderman because productivity is actually possible at those locations. Pack a bag before class with Tylenol, a sweatshirt, all your requisite chargers, two or three caffeinated beverages of your choice, a water bottle and lots of snacks so that you can lib’ it up all day long. Going home is distracting and a complete waste of time, so make your life easier and just eliminate the option.
Last, but most important of all, don’t forget to treat yourself. This time of year everyone is so critical of themselves, and it’s completely toxic. Give yourself time for you, even if it means less sleep. Whether that means taking an hour to go to hot yoga and get your namaste on or buying bread ends and house dressing and watching trashy TV, it doesn’t matter. Life will keep going long after you get your grades, so don’t let them ruin your sanity now. You’ll need it come finals time. Relax, stay as healthy and happy as possible and you’ll be in good shape. Best of luck, fellow Hoos.
Anne-Marie’s column runs biweekly Tuesdays. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.