View of Potomac River and Key Bridge during a pink and purple sunset
Category: Campus Life

Title: How To (Not) Study For Your Midterms: Tips to Unwind from a Junior at Georgetown

Author: Alex Johnson
Date Published: March 14, 2024

It’s that time of the semester again. With midterm after midterm, days at Georgetown feel like an endless cycle of studying and exams. However, I am here to tell you that it doesn’t have to be this way. Time spent in Lau is worthwhile, but it’s important to get a break. I have an unfortunate number of midterm seasons under my belt, so here are my favorite ways to unwind, relax, and not study for my midterms. 

Get Coffee With a Friend

Georgetown has a seemingly endless array of coffee shops and cafes. While coffee from the Corp can be a much-needed study boost in the middle of a study session, it can also be a way to escape from Lau and spend some time socializing. One of my favorite things to do during midterms is to walk to a coffee shop in the neighborhood with a friend. Walking to Cafe Georgetown or Blank Street (my new favorite) is a good way to get my mind off of exams and academics. Instead of squeezing in another hour of reviewing the same notes I have read over a hundred times, coffee and conversation are a nice way to unwind and recharge.  

A girl sits at the window of a coffee shop, over looking Prospect Street and Wisconsin Avenue
A short break from studying at Blank Street!

Sit on the Waterfront

If midterm season happens to be blessed with warm spring weather (and even if it isn’t), nothing beats a reflective moment at the Georgetown Waterfront. Taking time to meditate and have time for myself is always important. Midterms can get stressful! Sitting in the sun on the waterfront and listening to the Potomac always helps me refocus and approach my next study session with more clarity and renewed energy. 

View of Potomac River and Key Bridge during a pink and purple sunset
View of the sunset on the Potomac

Go on a Run or Walk

I think that going on a spontaneous run can be the best way to beat the restlessness and stress that midterms foster. I am not someone who likes running, but during midterm season, I can’t get enough of getting some cardio into my day. A quick run from campus to the Lincoln Memorial does wonders in releasing stress. The second the temperature gets above 50 during midterm season, my running shoes are on. If a run feels daunting, I’ll find a nice path to walk — whether through the neighborhood or a trail close to Georgetown. 

Two friends look out over the reflecting pool and National Monument from the Lincoln Memorial
Relaxing at the National Mall

Take Time to Watch TV or Read a Book

Lastly, sometimes the best way for me to unwind is simply to watch a show or read a book. While it feels like it could be time better spent reading a textbook or looking over notes, it is important to take time to do the things that you want to do. Even when I know that I have an exam coming up, I’ll make time for myself where I can sit and turn on Netflix or read a few chapters of a book. Midterms are important, but they aren’t the only things that matter. When I am stressed and overwhelmed, I will gladly watch an episode of The Bear instead of going over flashcards. 

Midterms are stressful. Midterms are important. But midterms are not everything. Over my time at Georgetown, I have learned that there is nothing more important, and nothing more healthy, than prioritizing time for yourself during the most stressful weeks. There are so many ways to unwind and relax during midterm season, and now you know a few of mine.

Alex is a junior in the College of Arts & Sciences, where he is majoring in government and minoring in religion, ethics, and world affairs.