Do Midterms Matter?

We have reached the breaking point in the semester.  People just want to sleep or go home—the last thing Bates students want to do is be highlighting three thousand pages of notes or writing a ten-page essay.  But, unfortunately, that is our current reality.  And because we all take academics seriously (at times maybe too seriously) we deprive ourselves of sleep, nutrition, and relaxation to invest in the 20% of our grade that depend on midterms.

Inevitably, students and faculty become overwhelmed by the culmination of deadlines.  No matter how much we seem to prepare or plan, there is still an atmosphere of tiredness and stress on campus.  As much as I want to call it quits during this chaotic time, I think that I have found ways to manage, to avoid being stretched too thin.  First, I take the time to plan—estimating how much time I need to complete each assignment and penciling that into my normal schedule.  Second, I use my meal times as social time.  That way, I nourish my body with good food from the vegan bar and bad jokes from my friends simultaneously.  Third, I go to bed and wake up around the same time that I would for a normal week.  By creating a time limit, I create a divide between how much time I could spend on work and how much time I can spend on work.  Fourth, I remind myself that as much as I want to do well, these midterms are not the be-all, end-all. 

While in Ladd, it can be easy to get distracted or disillusioned.  Personally, I never study in the library because I feed off of the energy of others and want to make the most of my allotted study time without talking to friends.  Instead, I find a quiet space on third floor PGill, huddle in Roger Williams computer lab, or an empty classroom in Olin.  Maybe even hike to Forage. Finding your own space is especially important during this high-strung crunch time. 

My point in all of this is this: midterms are midterms, and by the end of this week, break will be in full swing.  Since it is a temporary mania, you can plan accordingly and keep midterms in perspective.  The world will not come crashing down, no matter what your grade is.  Get some sleep, put in work, and move on.  Good luck, everyone!  You got this.

Photo by Sarah Raphael


Main image courtesy of Unsplash.