NASA Discovers Water On the Sunlight Section of the Moon

Written By: Eleanor Pratt 

While things here on Earth have been extremely hectic for the past few weeks, there have also been exciting things going on above us. On Monday, Oct. 26, NASA’s Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) confirmed that water is not only located on the dark and cold areas of the Moon but is also found in sunlit portions of the surface. This exciting discovery has far-reaching implications for the future of human space exploration and raises questions about the very nature of the Moon. 

A press release on NASA’s website explains that SOFIA detected water molecules in the Clavius Center, which is one of the largest craters visible to Earth. Further investigation revealed that there were roughly twelve ounces of water under about a cubic meter of soil spread far across the surface of the Moon. To put things in perspective, the Sahara desert has about 100 times more water than what was discovered. 

In the same press release, the director of the Astrophysics Division in the Science Mission Directorate Paul Hertz said, “Now we know [water] is there. This discovery challenges our understanding of the lunar surface and raises intriguing questions about resources relevant for deep space exploration.” That being said, Casey Honniball, the lead author of the study on the discovery, made a statement to make sure everyone understood what the find actually entailed. She explained, “This is not puddles of water but instead water molecules that are so spread apart that they do not form ice or liquid water.” 

Additionally, in a publication for the journal Nature Astronomy, scientists point out that there is a possibility that even more water could be trapped in the darker places on the moon where temperatures stay well below freezing. However, it is noted that the location of the water is most likely the result of local geography rather than something that occurs all over the Moon. 

The discovery of the water has led to more questions about how exactly it formed, as well as what uses lunar water may have for Earth. Addressing where this water came from, Honniball said, “Without a thick atmosphere, water on the sunlit lunar surface should just be lost to space,” she then continued, stating “Something is generating the water, and something must be trapping it there.”

In regards to how useful this water could be for us here on Earth, NASA’s Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate Jacob Bleacher says, “Water is a valuable resource, for both scientific purposes and for use by our explorers,” and that “If [NASA] can use the resources on the Moon, then we can carry less water and more equipment to help enable new scientific discoveries.”

In the future, NASA plans to send more flights to look for water in other sunlight sections to learn more about how exactly this water is created, stored, and moved across the Moon’s surface. The Volatiles Investigating Polar Exploration Rover will soon be sent to the Moon to make the very first maps of the location of water, which scientists say is a huge step for human space exploration and knowledge.

How to Have a Safe Holiday Season During the Pandemic

Written By: Eleanor Pratt 

As 2020 comes to an end, the holiday season will be here in no time. However, things will have to be different this year due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Yearly traditions may have to be modified and adjusted and some may be completely impossible. Experts have conceded that it is still possible to celebrate the holidays if one is flexible and takes the necessary precautions.

Recently, Dr. Antony Fauci told Yahoo news “I think we need to realize things might be different this year, particularly if you want to have people who are going to be flying in from a place that has a lot of infection.” Dr Mark Jarrett, the chief quality officer for New York’s Northwell Health, echoed this sentiment when he spoke to Healthline saying “Family gatherings this year may put our loved ones at risk, especially the most vulnerable, such as grandparents. Better to miss one in-person holiday, so all can celebrate together next year.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has put together an incredibly useful list of tips and guides for how to safely celebrate this year. For example, when hosting a gathering for the holidays, it is best to do it outdoors. If you cannot be completely outside due to cold weather or some other factor try to increase ventilation by opening windows and doors. Hosting 20 people for Thanksgiving is just not a good idea in 2020 and it is important to keep the guest list to a minimum. 

The CDC also has tips for those just attending holiday gatherings. Make sure your host is taking all necessary precautions to prevent any spread of the virus and bring extra supplies with you just in case– such as extra masks, gloves and hand sanitizer. 

It is also important for guests during the celebrations to continue to social distance, especially if many people came from out of town and have not been in quarantine. Wash your hands as much as possible and regularly disinfect areas that are constantly being touched. Try to spend as much time at home and avoid going to overly crowded places like malls or restaurants. Shopping online is definitely a must this year. 

While these precautions may seem like they take the fun out of the season and may even make things more stressful, the holidays can still be enjoyable. Activities such as going out to a local farm to pick apples or a Christmas tree are fun and low risk activities because they are outside. Hosting gatherings of local friends and family for dinner is also a much better idea rather than going to crowded restaurants. Decorating your home with your family and getting in the spirit with some festive music are also good ways to celebrate safely. 

Although this holiday season is going to feel much different than past celebrations, it is important to keep in mind that if proper precautions are followed, next year can be back to normal and hopefully much less stressed.

Deaccession Continues to Cause Controversy in the Art World

Written By: Eleanor Pratt 

A view of an empty The Metropolitan Museum of Art that closed amid Covid-19 Pandemic amid Coronavirus Outbreak spread across the United States on March 20, 2020 in New York City. The World Health Organization declared coronavirus (COVID-19) a global pandemic on March 11th. (Photo by John Nacion/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Deaccession is a highly controversial concept throughout the art world and has been the subject of a fair amount of scrutiny in recent years. What art to sell is a particularly difficult subject, as everyone has a different idea of what is important enough to stay in a museum. Several museums have been under scrutiny in the past few weeks for their deaccession decisions. 

There are three schools of thought when it comes to deaccession. According to the journal, The Museum Scholar, conservatives believe that art should never be removed from a museum’s collection because this would violate the public’s trust. Moderates acknowledge that deaccession has some value but fully believe that the money gained from sales should only go to buying more art. Finally, the liberal point of view believes that museums should be able to sell art as they see fit, with no regulations or stipulations. 

While many museums have taken part in deaccession over the years, there has been an uptick recently due to the COVID-19 pandemic that has swept the globe. Museums that rely heavily on revenue from gallery visitors have lost an incredible amount of money due to quarantine rules and regulations and must find a way to care for their collections. 

CNBC reports that The Metropolitan Museum of Art has projected that it will lose $150 million in revenue through June 2021, and popular museums in places like Vienna and Amsterdam are losing anywhere from $168,700 to $1,012,000 per week.

Museums cannot simply sell art whenever they wish to, as there are guidelines put in place by the Association of Art Museum Directors (AAMD). Normally, works sold are second tier or simply redundant and do not serve the museum’s interests anymore. Recently, AAMD has relaxed many of its rules surrounding deaccession in an effort to help with the strain many museums are under currently. Many leaders from the organization still continue to assert that deaccessioning is unethical and museums should think extremely carefully before doing it.

Recently, two museums gained a lot of attention for their deaccession plans. The Brooklyn Museum plans to sell $40 million worth of art to care for their collection, and according to Art News, the Baltimore Museum has aimed even higher, releasing its plan to sell $65 million worth of art. The Brooklyn Museum of Art’s sales have gone fairly smoothly and have made little waves, however the decision of the Baltimore Museum of Art to sell some rare and important works –such as an Andy Warhol piece– has caused controversy. 

Arnold Lehman, the former director of the Baltimore (1979-97) and Brooklyn Museums (1997-2015) told the New York Times “I’m not at all opposed to deaccessioning, but Baltimore was selling masterpieces.” It must be noted, however, that the reason the museum decided to sell these works is less callous than some critics make it out to be. 

According to The New York Times, the museum has been trying to focus on helping and supporting the community as much as it can, even before the pandemic came to the United States. Christopher Bedford, the current director of the museum, intended to use the money from the sales to acquire works from more underrepresented creators, to make a collection care endowment that would give the museum $2.5 million for pay raises for staff, and to focus on several other “equity-oriented measures.” 

While the intentions of those at the Baltimore Museum may have been altruistic, deaccession will always leave many unhappy and critical. Controversies surrounding deaccession have been going on since at least the 1960’s according to Art News and the pandemic has only brought the issue more attention.

Ariana Grande Drops a Surprise Album

Written By: Eleanor Pratt 

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – JANUARY 26: Ariana Grande performs onstage during the 62nd Annual GRAMMY Awards at Staples Center on January 26, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

With two albums in the past two years, Ariana Grande is no stranger to releasing music in quick succession. However, she still managed to surprise the world when it was announced that she would release her sixth album titled “Positions” on Friday, Oct. 30. The singer tweeted on Oct. 14  “i can’t wait to give u my album this month,” promptly sending fans into a tailspin of excitement and disbelief. 

The album did not disappoint fans or critics. Social media exploded with people discussing how mature and sexual Grande’s new album was. NPR’s Latasha Harris calls “Positions” Grande’s “most explicit to date”, noting that it certainly has a much more mature sound with some surprisingly distinct R&B themes running throughout the album. 

In regards to the sound of “Position,” Grande utilizes her amazing vocals constantly. The track “My Hair” showcases her incredible vocal range, with The Los Angeles Times comparing her whistle tones in the song to Mariah Carey. “Positions,” the first single of the album, has already had extensive radio play.

“Positions” definitely does not hold back in regards to sex. In fact, Grande makes it clear she has been enjoying the intimacy and privacy quarantine has provided quite a lot. References to this can be found in songs like “West Side” where the singer quips “We got all we need right here.” 

Most of the songs, while extremely sexual, revolve around a monogamous relationship and the fun a couple is having together. For instance, in “Six Thirty” Grande describes home as a place for her and her significant other to relax and play video games until 2 a.m. 

This album is not for the singer’s younger fans at all. Each song is more mature than the last both in regards to content and language, with nine of the 14 tracks being marked as explicit. In a more humorous turn, the album even features some fun and very suggestive titles such as “34+35.” 

There are several collaborations between Grande and other artists on the album. “Motive,” the third song on “Positions,” features the first collaboration between Doja Cat and Grande. The song “off the table,” which details a couple debating whether to become serious in their relationship, features The Weeknd. For the seventh track of the album Grande recruits Ty Dolla $ign, who proudly described their song together as “a melodic and amazing tune” in a recent  interview. 

Grande’s “Positions” is one of her best albums yet. She seems to have found her true sound after several years of being stuck in the bubblegum pop genre. Not only does she let her amazing voice reach new heights, but she allowed herself to experiment with new sounds and artists, which resulted in a fun and sultry album that can not easily be forgotten.

Wildfires Ravage Colorado Even as Snow Falls

Written By: Eleanor Pratt 

The fight against Colorado’s two largest wildfires continues even as the state experiences multiple snowstorms. The fires are thought to be the worst in the state’s history, burning over 400,000 acres altogether. While the snow is certainly better than nothing, experts warn that it may not be enough to stop the fires completely.. 

The East Troublesome Fire is only 20% contained and has burned over 196,560 acres so far. According to the Denver Post, the fire began rather recently on Oct. 14, in Hot Sulphur Springs. The Cameron Peak Fire is slightly more contained at 64% but is considered to be the biggest in Colorado’s history after burning more than 208,600 acres. This fire has been burning since Aug. 13. Both have now moved into the Rocky Mountain National Park, but as of right now the park has not suffered too much damage. 

On Sunday, Oct. 25 and Monday, Oct, 26, many were glad to see upwards of 6-12 inches of snow in areas where the fires were burning the worst. Places such as Larimer County were even lucky enough to have around 20 inches of snow. Colorado Gov. Jared Polis told NPR “We’re grateful for snow which fell heavily on our state over the weekend, and really gave the firefighters a much better chance at being able to keep these fires away from major population centers.” 

The snow helped officials to conduct damage assessments on homes and other structures in the area, according to the Denver Post. Grand County Sheriff Brett Schroetlin made a statement that the assessment had found 100 homes to have been destroyed by the East Troublesome Fire, but that they were “finding more every direction [they] turn around.” It has been hard for law enforcement to determine whether burned structures are actually homes, or are other types of structures such as barns or detached garages.

The Cameron Peak Fire, on the other hand, has destroyed over 426 structures, including 209 residential homes and 108 outbuildings, according to sheriff’s officials in Larimer County. Unfortunately, the snow has been a blessing and a curse for those living in Colorado. While it has allowed officials to begin to assess the damage done by the fires, the snow has also made travel slower and more dangerous as the roads are now icy and slick. 

Unfortunately, authorities also warn, “The snow has slowed fire activity; however it is not expected to be enough to put the fire out. Temperatures are forecasted to gradually warm back up beginning Tuesday.” In fact, according to atmospheric scientists working at Colorado State University, Colorado has been having record high temperatures in recent years due to climate change, and these huge fires will continue to happen unless something is done soon. 

Firefighters are hard at work trying to contain these awful fires and are grateful that the snow has given them “…a good quiet couple of days,” as the East Troublesome fire incident commander Noel Livingston told the press. However, even when firefighters do manage to fully stop the burning, as long as nothing is done to combat climate change, more and more of these massive fires will continue to occur.

Ancient Egyptian Sarcophagus Opened After 2600 Years

Written By: Eleanor Pratt 

Just in time for the spookiest month of the year, archeologists in Saqqara, Egypt have opened a 2600 year old sarcophagus. Egyptian researchers officially opened the sarcophagus on Saturday, Oct. 3, as press and dignitaries looked on. These researchers informed the press that the mummies found were most likely the bodies of priests, government officials, and other powerful members of ancient Egyptian society.

The incredibly well-preserved wooden coffin was discovered in September, along with 58 others. The mummy inside the sarcophagus was also surprisingly well-preserved, according to Smithsonian Magazine, with the burial linen used to wrap the body maintaining its original inscriptions and colorful designs. The coffins date back all the way to Egypt’s 26th Dynasty, which experts claim occurred from 664-526 BCE.

In addition to the many sarcophagi found, archaeologists also discovered 28 statues of the god Ptah-Soker, as well as a small bronze statue of the god Nefertum. According to Khaled el-Anany, the Egyptian Minister of Antiquities and Tourism, these finds will most likely be displayed in the Grand Egyptian Museum, which plans to open in Giza in 2021. 

These incredible artifacts were found in the Saqqara necropolis, which was a large ancient cemetery in the ancient city of Memphis. NBC reports that the site not only contains the famous Giza Pyramids but that this cemetery is also quite renowned for having many lavish tombs. However, the site has had a fair amount of damage over the last few centuries due to looters and illegal excavations, making the near perfect state of the sarcophagus very impressive and exciting. 

El-Anany also told journalists of Agence France-Presse that “[T]oday is not the end of the discovery,” and that instead, he considers, “…it the beginning of the big discovery.” This excitement was shared by Mostafa Waziri — the general director of Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities– who told NBC that the tomb reminded him very much of the finding of King Tutankhamun because both were found in a state of almost perfect preservation. 

Finding these coffins and artifacts could not have come at a better time for Egypt. The country has been trying to draw in more tourists but has been having a lot of difficulties. The tourism sector has been hurting badly since the Arab Spring uprisings in 2011, according to NBC. Additionally, tourism to the country has been further hurt by the COVID-19 pandemic. Egyptian officials hope that displaying these incredible finds, along with many other recently discovered artifacts, in their new museum will generate more travel to the country. 

It is not everyday that 2600 year old sarcophagi are discovered and opened. It seems that 2020 always has something new in store for the world, but fortunately, this surprise was a happier one.

The Great British Bake Off is Just What the World Needs Right Now

Written By: Eleanor Pratt 

Every episode of the hit TV series “The Great British Bake Off” begins with idyllic scenes of the English countryside. As clips roll of beautiful green hills, songbirds flitting from tree to tree, and sheep grazing in nearby pastures, a calm voice explains the theme of the week and what the audience can expect to see in a particular episode. This introduction is an excellent example of the overall tone of the series, and one can almost feel the stress of the day fading away as they settle in to watch. 

Beginning in 2010, “The Great British Bake Off” has become an international hit series over the years. The show follows amatuer British bakers who must create new delicious baked goods each week to impress the two judges. Each week features a new theme, such as bread week, cake week or chocolate week. The bakers compete in three separate challenges over the course of the week, beginning with a signature bake, then moving on to a technical bake and finally ending with the “show-stopper” bake. While the bakers are allowed to practice their signatures and show-stoppers before the episode, they do not know what the technical bake is until the day of. 

To many, the show may sound like a typical cooking competition. A group of home cooks compete with one another, they are judged, and one person is sent home each week. However, once viewers begin watching, it becomes clear how different “The Great British Bake Off” is to other competition shows and how it can alleviate some of the stress from everyday life. 

Bakers are not competing for a huge cash prize or a lucrative cookbook deal, but instead for a simple cake-stand and a nice bouquet of flowers. It is very clear that each person on the show just loves to bake, and that they are on the show simply to enjoy themselves. This is a refreshing change from American cooking competitions, which are often centered around the large amount of money one can gain from winning. Viewers and bakers alike can just enjoy the process, and do not have to worry about losing too much if something goes horribly wrong. 

Contestants on “Bake Off” contribute heavily to the calming nature of the show. The bakers are unfailingly polite and kind to one another, which again sets the show apart from other, more cut-throat competitions. In almost every episode, the bakers will help each other with their bakes if someone is running behind or struggling. Ingredients are shared, advice is offered, and friendly chat is expected while they wait for their creations to finish baking. After a hard day, it is lovely to sit back and watch people bake delicious food and be genuinely kind to one another, even though they are competing. 

Because the contestants are usually all legitimately nice people, viewers are put in the strange position of rooting for everyone. While viewers might have a slight favorite, they grow to care for all of the contestants and really do not care who wins in the end. There are so many interesting bakes being made and the contestants are all trying their hardest, which makes focusing on one person just impossible. There is little to no stress of hoping and praying each week that the viewer’s very favorite will go through to the next round, because they are all the favorite in one way or another. 

In times where human decency and genuine kindness seem to be missing from many parts of our lives, “The Great British Bake Off” can help escape the stressful reality of life for just a little while. The show’s emphasis on things like friendship, perseverance, and humor will make one feel warm and might restore some faith in humanity. In the end, maybe overly polite British people making ridiculous baking puns is exactly what the world needs right now to feel just a little less stressed. 

Brooklyn Museum Sells Several Works of Art

Written By: Eleanor Pratt 

In order to generate funds for collection care, the Brooklyn Museum has decided to sell several million dollars worth of art. Art Market Monitor reports that this was a long standing plan to deaccession works in order to be able to take care of its overall collection. The museum had one deaccessing round on Thursday, Oct. 15, at Christie’s auction house, and another on Wednesday, Oct. 28 at Sotheby’s in New York City. 

Brooklyn Museum director Anne Pasternick made a recent statement about the decision saying that it “…comes after several years of focused effort by the museum to build a plan to strengthen its collection, repatriate objects, advance provenance research, improve storage and more.” According to Art News, the museum hopes to raise $40 million in total to help alleviate the damage done by the COVID-19 pandemic this year. 

The auction at Christie’s seemed to be a success. One of the top selling items was the 16th century work “Lucretia” by Lucas Cranach the Elder, which sold for $5.1 million rather than the estimated price of $1.2 million. The Brooklyn Museum had owned the painting since 1921. 

In addition to “Lucretia, several other pieces were successfully sold off to various collectors. Many paintings sold for well above their estimated price, which will help the museum immensely in reaching its goals. For instance, Lorenzo Costa’s “Portrait of a Gentleman” sold for $110,000 rather than the lower estimate of $60,000, according to Art News. Unfortunately some works sold for below their estimates. Giovanni Di Marco’s painting depicting the Madonna and child sold for $75,000, which was far below its estimate. Like the painting of Lucretia, this painting has been in the Brooklyn Museum’s possession since 1925. 

Despite some paintings selling for slightly less than estimated, the museum managed to generate a total of $6.6 million. While this is an impressive figure, there will still need to be several more auctions in order to reach the ultimate goal of $40 million. 

The auction at Sotheby’s has a pre-sale low estimate of $12 million. Art News reports that the museum plans to sell seven works in total, including works from several impressionists. At one of the biggest lots, Claude Monet’s 1897 work “Les lles à Port Villez” is estimated to sell at anywhere from $2.5 million to $3.5 million. Also up for sale is “Carrefour de Malbry” by Henri Matisse for an estimated $800,000 to $1.2 million and Edgar Degas’ 1902 work “Femme nue assise s’essuyant les chevaux” for $1 million to $1.5 million.

If the sale on Oct. 28 goes well, the Brooklyn museum will be well on its way to its goal of $40 million. Unfortunately, the museum will have to sell many more pieces to reach this number. Hopefully, the COVID-19 pandemic will fade away enough for the museum to begin to generate more revenue from art lovers visiting the museum rather than art auctions.

Ceremony at the Rose Garden Leads to a Concerning COVID-19 Outbreak

Written By: Eleanor Pratt

Judge Amy Coney Barrett speaks after being nominated to the US Supreme Court by President Donald Trump in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, DC on September 26, 2020. – Barrett, if confirmed by the US Senate, will replace Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died on September 18. (Photo by Olivier DOULIERY / AFP) (Photo by OLIVIER DOULIERY/AFP via Getty Images)

On Saturday, Sept. 26, President Donald Trump held a ceremony outside the Rose Garden to announce his Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett. The majority of those who attended the event were not wearing any kind of face mask, and there were very little social distancing measures in place. As of Oct. 14, 11 people who attended the event tested positive for COVID-19, including the President himself and the First Lady.

Currently, it is difficult to know how many people who went to the event have contracted the virus as signs and symptoms can take around 14 days to appear. According to Newsweek, of the 328 people who attended the Rose Garden event or who were in close contact with someone who attended, around 11% have tested positive for COVID-19, 23% have tested negative, and a concerning 66% are unknown.

Following the event, President Trump was in close proximity to a number of people, many of whom are now testing positive for the virus. According to the New York Times, the President chose to attend the first presidential debate on Sept. 29 and then held large campaign events in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Minnesota in the following days. It has been reported that at least five people who flew with the President on Air Force One during this period have now contracted the virus.

Many of the president’s closest advisors and supporters contracted COVID-19 either at the Rose Garden Event or shortly afterward. For example, Trump’s campaign manager, Bill Stepien, and his former White House adviser Kellyanne Conway both tested positive, as well as former New Jersey governor Chris Christie.

Although there was little to no social distancing and almost no masks to be seen during the ceremony outside, experts told The New York Times that the indoor reception before the event was probably the main cause of the spread. Mask-less people gathering in a tight indoor space is an excellent way to spread COVID-19, as it has been proven time and time again that the virus thrives indoors.

Unfortunately, the White House seems to be doing very little in terms of contact tracing. The New York Times reports that the White House decided to only notify anyone who came into close contact with the president within the two days before he tested positive rather than the week beforehand. In a bizarre turn of events, the White House has also chosen to cut the CDC almost completely out of the process.

In response to this, Dr. Joshua Barocas, a public health expert at Boston University, said “This is a total abdication of responsibility by the Trump administration,” and that “The idea that we’re not involving the CDC to do contact tracing at this point seems like a massive public health threat.”

It seems that even the contact tracing for the two-day window is severely limited, with people only receiving emails about potential exposure rather than a phone call with detailed explanations and guidance for what to do if one does test positive. The White House claims that there is a “robust contract tracing program” going on that is being led by an epidemiologist from the CDC; however, the White House also declined to name the scientist, and two anonymous senior scientists from the CDC claim to be completely unaware of anyone occupying that role.

With more and more information coming out about the White House’s mismanagement of the situation, many experts are blaming the administration for putting all their faith in constant testing rather than using masks and social distancing. The tests only tell you whether you are positive or negative at the time of the test, and often someone who tests negative in the morning can test positive later that afternoon. Experts stress that the general public must not follow the White House’s lead, and should instead continue to constantly wear masks and social distance.


Dealing with Stress During Exam Time: Tips and Tricks

Written By: Eleanor Pratt

 For most college students, midterms are now finishing up and finals are right around the corner. This can be an incredibly stressful part of the semester with big exams and projects all due around the same time. It sometimes feels like there is too much to do and too little time to accomplish everything. However, do not lose hope because there are many ways to prepare for finals and to reduce the stress and anxiety surrounding them.

One of the best things you can do to reduce the amount of stress you feel during exam season is to begin studying early. Colin Gruenwald of Kaplan Test Prep says “Three to four weeks ahead of time is the latest that you want to create a study plan for yourself. Cramming is toxic.” It is easy to procrastinate studying and revising because finals seem to be far away, but in reality, this will only cause more pain. Set up a schedule to revise a little each day leading up to exams and you will feel much more relaxed and prepared. If you work better with others, form a study group with classmates and discuss concerns or anxieties you all might feel about upcoming tests and projects.

It is helpful to consistently study every day, however it is also important to take regular breaks to combat being overwhelmed. Take 20 minutes to walk around and stretch your muscles in between subjects. Fix yourself some food and find a hot drink to calm you down. It may also be helpful to plan some fun activities for when you are done studying to give yourself something to look forward to and to work towards. 

One of the more practical things to do to prepare for exams is to take mock exams. There may be examples of past exam questions online that could be similar to your exam, and this will give you a good idea of what you need to study and focus on. If there are not any examples online, think back to topics of assignments and discussions in class and make your own exam questions that might relate to these things. Creating your own fake exam questions is an excellent study technique according to leading psychologists on memory. In an article for Science Daily, Dr. Katherine Rawson, a psychology researcher at Kent State University, explains “Taking practice tests — particularly ones that involve attempting to recall something from memory — can drastically increase the likelihood that you’ll be able to remember that information again later.”

If exam stress is really getting to you it might be best to talk to someone about your anxiety. Talking with friends or family about your stress can help alleviate it and will allow you to let go of the tension you have been holding in. However, if venting to family or friends does not sound particularly cathartic, the Wellness Center on campus is always open for appointments. Counseling is available for stress, anxiety, depression, homesickness and much more. Right now individual counseling sessions will be on Zoom, and to set up an appointment just call the Center at (240) 895-4289. Counseling is free to all students, so it would be a smart move to utilize this service while you have it.

Exam season does not have to be an overly stressful time. Hopefully, by using these tips and services you can reduce any anxieties you may be having. It is always important to keep things in perspective and to not let the stress from exams overwhelm you because in a few months that big exam will feel more like a distant memory rather than the most stressful and important thing in the world.