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Oct 02 2016
by Stacy Andryshak

10 Backpack Essentials for Midterms

By Stacy Andryshak - Oct 02 2016
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With midterms just around the corner, it's time to create a nest in the corner of your school's library and crack down on those textbooks. The essentials listed below will be life-savers whether you're studying biology or communications, spending four hours in the library or a solid all-nighter or settling down in a coffee shop to do some less intense review. 

1. Blanket

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This is the absolute first thing I thought of as a library-based studying essential. With fall setting in and midterms leaving you stressed, sometimes it's nice to have something warm and soft with you. This is also a multipurpose item that can be used for more than just keeping you warm! You can put it on any hard seat to make your excruciating study session a little less painful. If you don't want to sit at a desk you can even make yourself a blanket nest in the corner  nobody will judge you for it. 

2. Earbuds

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I've come to find that even on the quietest floors of the library, there's still some background noise that can prove distracting, especially when your schoolwork is already annoying you enough. Bring some headphones or earbuds if you're the kind of person that likes to block out any excess noise. Playing music can be calming and you can even play "Eye of the Tiger" or something to keep yourself motivated. Just remember not to play it too loud and distract the people around you.

3. Snacks

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Bringing snacks keeps you from having to leave to get food and trying to get back to work again. Sometimes the strenuous act of studying just makes you hungry - other times you just need a distraction from the monotony of reading over your notes a thousand times. Either way, having some sort of brain food (popcorn, fruit, trail mix, etc.) is always energizing.

4. Water and Caffeine

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As tempting as it is to drown your sorrows in RedBull and coffee, try to limit yourself to one cup (mostly so you don't literally die of a heart attack). On top of that, make sure to keep a water bottle with you as well, because strenuously studying and drinking caffeinated beverages can dehydrate you quickly. Sometimes, some cold water can wake you up even more than coffee can.

5. Study Materials

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Although all of the other stuff on this list is exciting, it might be smart to actually bring the stuff you're at the library to study. These materials could include textbooks, electronics, a study guide and possibly even some friends to keep you motivated. However, make sure to leave behind anything too distracting.

6. Tissues

Allan Foster via Flickr Creative Commons

Tissues, cough drops and eye drops are all lumped under this category. Whether you're sick or not, these are all incredibly useful items. Your immune system could be down from no sleep, you could be crying over your books (please don't) or you could just want a cough drop (we all do sometimes). These items are useful for both yourself and others around you. 

7. Pens

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Having a bunch of different colored pens makes studying ten times easier. Color-coding, highlighting and annotating your notes makes them a lot easier to manage and can be a big time saver when you're reviewing. 

8. Motivation

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Pack something that motivates you. A letter from your mom saying she's proud of you, a framed picture of Oprah, whatever. Anything that inspires you to do your best counts as motivation and can keep you going when you really just want to sleep.

9. Chargers

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Any student's worst case scenario is being stranded without a charger in the middle of studying on their laptop or tablet. Luckily, a lot of colleges have portable rental chargers in the library; however, it's always smart to bring your own just in case.

10. Makeup Wipes 

J. Sibiga Photography via Flickr Creative Commons

This is kind of an odd necessity, but taking a study break to go to the bathroom to run a makeup wipe over your face can be a life-saver. When you're feeling tired and worn down, something simple and refreshing can be enough to keep you going for another hour or two. This can also be done with a dampened paper towel!

Hopefully this list makes you feel a little more confident about your studying preparedness. If you have any more suggestions or want to share your midterm essentials, send them to Fresh U via Facebook or Twitter!

Lead Image Credit: freephotocc via Pixabay

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Stacy Andryshak - Northeastern University

Stacy is a freshman pursuing a combined major in Communication Studies and Media & Screen Studies at Northeastern University. In high school, she spent most of her free time acting in dramas and musicals. She enjoys obscure vegan restaurants, British soap operas, and her pet rabbit. Find her on: Instagram @stacy.a / Twitter @standryn

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