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First Year, First Midterms

News Story

We’re all trying to balance a social life with studying. Even just grappling with the idea of getting out of bed for that dreaded 9:00 a.m. test can be hard. Keep reading for some helpful tips and motivational gifs during midterms!

How To Successfully Survive Your Exams

Many students are feeling the pressure from their profs, friends, and maybe even themselves to get good grades on their midterms. After all, only you can earn that A and get a 4.0—not anyone else. It’s your job to put in the effort and watch the work pay off.

Hello again, Pace World! My name is Erin Schuessler ’21 and I’m a freshman on the NYC Campus majoring in Communication Studies. I’ll be writing columns, conducting interviews, and reporting on cool events.

Keep reading for three major tips (and motivational gifs) for surviving your midterms, and don’t forget to check out my first post on the Pulse!

1. Establish Your Favorite Quiet Place to Study

This is huge. If you can find a quiet place to zone in on your homework without distractions, you’re golden. Many students struggle with this, however. The following are some of my favorite spots for getting work done, but since I’m on the NYC Campus, these will be specific to the places I’ve been able to check out so far. Hit me up with your PLV recommendations!

The Pace Library. There are sectioned off cubbies on the second floor that give you enough space to spread out all your papers as well as provide walls to protect you from socializing when you should be studying.

Battery Park/Seaport. These are AMAZING if you want an open space to study, do homework, or even have some alone time to call family and friends. And, of course, fresh air. That’s always nice.

Coffee Shops. HEYOO I love a good cup of Joe, and it seems to make studying a little less horrifying. Here are some of my favorite places around the Downtown area:

  • Aroma Espresso Bar | 100 Church Street
  • Jack’s Stir Brew Coffee | 222 Front Street
  • La Colombe Coffee Roasters | 67 Wall Street
  • Blue Spoon Coffee Company | 90 William Street

Of course, if all else fails, just hit up one of the many Dunkin’ Donuts or Starbucks.

2. Learn How to Say No

Sometimes you have to say no to people who want to hang out or grab food. If you need to study, you need to study! Real friends will understand. I mean, they should probably be studying themselves...

However, if you can actually focus with other people around—and you have homework to do, but still want to hang out—go to a nearby coffee shop or share a table at the library! Just make sure you actually study.

3. Stay Focused (... but how?)

Personally, I find it really hard to stay focused on one thing for a long period of time without looking at my phone, getting distracted, or fed up with what I’m working on.

One thing I find helpful is setting a timer. I work for 25 minutes without stopping, then take a five-minute break where I can eat or look at my phone. I do that for as long as I need to in order to get everything done. This is referred to as “The Pomodoro Technique.” You can use this timer on your browser to help you stay focused!

For more about my experiences here at Pace, be sure to stay tuned to the Pulse, Pace’s weekly newsletter, as well as social media, where my work will be published.

If you ever have anything else you want me to write about or a topic that you’re interested in, please feel free to email me at Thanks for reading!