A guide to cheering up your housemates during midterm season

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In the thick of midterm season, pretty much everyone is under a lot of pressure. If you live with other UC Berkeley students, chances are you’re seeing the stress and tension come out in snarky outbursts and tears of defeat. Even though it can be hard to live with other stressed out people when you yourself are stressed, there are many ways to cheer up your roommates (and yourself!) during midterm season. Read on for some inspiration for how to make your housemates’ weeks a little sweeter.

Buy them a treat

For a lot of stressed out college students, sustenance becomes merely another task amid the millions of study guides and quizzes. Even though a treat isn’t really sustenance, if your roommate has been surviving on ramen for a week, grabbing them a coffee or a muffin from a cafe can be a really kind gesture. Just letting your roommate know that you care and that you know they’re under pressure is a great step.

Send them a nice message before their midterm

Though you don’t want to cut it too close and have their phone go off in the beginning of their midterm, sending your housemate a text or writing them a little note before their midterm takes almost no effort on your part but can make them feel awesome. Confidence is such an important part of test taking, and knowing your friends believe in you can be really inspiring.

Remind them to sleep

This is a hard job, but truly someone has to do it. We college students love to pretend we don’t need sleep, but the truth is sleep before a midterm is so important! If you study all night but practically sleep through the midterm, all your detailed notes don’t make much of a difference. Though it’s important to not be too pushy — if your roommate has a deadline, don’t encourage them to miss it — a nudge toward taking breaks isn’t a bad thing.

Throw them a (quarantined) celebration after their midterm is done

Your housemate’s midterm is done? You finished your midterm too? Sounds like the perfect time to throw a quarantined party! That is, a party for your housemates who are finished with midterms! Since it’s Halloween season, you can make it spooky themed with fun pumpkin drinks and pie and some spooky tunes! Or if you’re all too tired from not sleeping for a week, just put on a classic Halloween movie and pass out on the couch. 

Commiserate if they do badly

Even if you tried your best to help your roommates de-stress, there’s still a chance they will do poorly on their exams. In that case, if you’ve already thrown them a post-midterm party and bought them a cheer-up snack, the only thing you have left to do is give them a shoulder to cry on, or maybe an ear to rant to. Sometimes all your roommate wants is for someone to tell them that it’s okay to do poorly even when they put a lot of effort in.

Midterm season can be tricky when you’re living with other college students. Everyone is stressing out, forgetting to clean up, bickering and just not sleeping. If you have a little spare time, doing some kind things for your roommate before their midterm can help relieve the tension. And who knows, maybe next time you’re super stressed, they’ll return the favor.

Contact Elysa Dombro at [email protected].