So Your Midterm Didn’t Go As Planned...

It happens to the best of us. You walk into an exam feeling jittery. Even if you did study, there’s nothing that ever really makes those nerves go away. You sit down, talk to the people around you about how much you wish you were anywhere else, and flip the exam open.

Crickets. Maybe a couple tumbleweeds. 

And then, a torturous hour later, you leave the room thinking, “Well, who needs college anyways?”

Oh yeah, I know the feeling. Less-than-optimal midterm grades are pretty much inevitable. Sometimes, it doesn’t even matter how much you studied, and that’s kind of when it sucks the most — like I said before, it happens to the best of us. Nonetheless, the disappointment is never really less significant, no matter the circumstances. 

Don’t let midterm season get you down! Here are a few things to do when you feel like exams are really testing you:

1. Remember that it’s okay to be disappointed, but see this as an opportunity for you to improve. 

Cry it out, scream into a pillow, research careers that don’t require a college education, whatever you need to do. Once you’re done with that, though, it’s back to getting your degree, and you’re gonna kick butt. Now that you know how not to prepare for a midterm, it’ll be that much easier for you to change and improve your study habits.

2. Give yourself time to do something you enjoy.

You may be completely ready to work even harder on your schoolwork to make up for that exam grade (lol, kudos to you), but when your mental health may have already been impacted by disappointment, believe me when I say it’s important to give yourself a break. It doesn’t have to be a lot of time, but set aside a small portion of your day to unwind. Go to the gym (again, kudos), eat some chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream, take a nap, or watch some Netflix. You’ll thank yourself later.

3. Spend some time with supportive people.

Let’s be real: ranting about how horrible your day/week/semester has been, especially when your friends can probably highkey relate, is insanely cathartic. We are all in college after all, and our experiences mirror each other’s more accurately than you’d think. Also, remember that there’s absolutely no shame in calling your parents or other family members. If they’re anything like mine, they’ll give you a little (sometimes tough) love, and tell you there’s always the next exam. Michelle Obama said it best: “College wasn't meant to do alone." 

Can’t argue with the queen…talk with someone who you know has your back.

To recap: “midterm season”, aka the entire semester after syllabus week, is a big ol’ no from me. Unfortunately, it’s an inevitable part of college. Make sure to put any failures that you may encounter into perspective — they suck, but they’re not going to make a big difference in the long run. Take a few deep breaths, hunker down, and remind yourself that it's one-hundred percent within your power to crush the next exam you take!

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