Midterms. They never seem to stop, even when your brain already has. After about the third or fourth midterm, things might start feeling like they are going downhill fast. But don’t worry, midterm slumps are a normal part of high school, and there are ways to make it through.

Of course, there are countless tips for how to study for midterms and finals, but there’s one method that I have found works without fail. That is, the system of rewards. This is mentioned in tips 3 and 4 of the post “Finals Week: It’s Never a Cakewalk, But Here’s How to Keep it Sane,” and it deserves to be mentioned again. Rewards and breaks are key to a good study time. When midterms come around, you’ve got to get that studying done, but how are you supposed to keep focused? It seems an impossible task.

That’s why I’ve used the system of rewards. Basically, it’s a way to reward yourself for doing a good job. You’ve been studying for a solid hour and a half—it’s time you gave yourself something for it.

You Choose Your Own Rewards

Of course, if you already have fun activities planned, then that becomes your reward. For example, if you want to go to the basketball game with your friends, you can make a goal to study for the two hours before it. If you make goals like that, then not only will you get studying done, you’ll feel more free because you know that you deserve the break.

But let’s say you don’t have any activities planned, the test is tomorrow, and you haven’t started studying at all. In other words, you’ve got a long night ahead of you. In that case, it’s the little rewards that count. And thankfully, these can come more often. If I’m going to study for five hours straight, I might make the goal to study for 50 minutes, take a ten-minute break, and then repeat.

What you do on that break, now that’s the fun part. There’s countless things you could reward yourself with. Lucky for you, I made a list of ideas to get your brain gears going again, because we all know they’re struggling at this point.

10 Things to Do for Your 10-Minute Breaks

1. Watch funny baby videos on Youtube

baby laughing with a bubbles beard in bath

This will make you feel 10 times smarter.

2. Get someone to massage your feet

Your brain can’t get a massage, but your feet sure can.

3. Go outside and climb a tree

sloth climbing tree

The fresh air and scraped hands might do you some good.

4. Warm up some Alphabet SpaghettiOs

spaghettios spelling "make"

You’ll be able to feel the words coming to life again.

5. Play Solitaire with real cards

K Q J of spades

By the fourth time you lose, you’ll be happy to go back to homework.

6. Play a game of Minesweeper (or maybe 10)


Try not to let your brain explode.

7. Color in your favorite coloring book

Upgrading to an adult coloring book will show your true skill.

8. Read a comic book about your favorite superhero

Spiderman comic

Homework will be the next big villain to fight.

9. Try out a new design for a paper airplane

advanced paper airplane

Your hands might work better than your head.

10. Make a gummy bear empire

A Semicircle of Fruit Jelly Gummi Bears

It will be that much more fun to eat.

Studying Doesn’t Have to Be All Work and No Fun

Even when you’re studying, it doesn’t have to be something you dread. Sure, all my ideas here are a little ridiculous, but that’s the point! If you try and do things for your breaks that you wouldn’t normally do, but that you still enjoy, then studying will become something you look forward to! All because your breaks are so dang unique and fun.

Christina Crosland

Christina Crosland

Christina Crosland is currently a senior studying Interdisciplinary Humanities at Brigham Young University. Since the day she was born, Christina has called the West her home, and she is proud to say that she graduated from a little high school in Idaho. And while her home lies in one place, her heart lies in the great unknown. Traveling has always been her interest and reading of fantastical journeys her passion.
Christina Crosland