Midterm Madness

After hearing continuous complaints about “hell weeks” I’ve realized the term “week” is a bit vague.

Oddly enough, these back to back weeks of back to back midterms, are corresponding with other campuses’ fall breaks. I don’t have first hand experience with this fall break concept, but it sounds like a glorious life.

A serene scene far from the U of M

It’s this absence of a fall break that makes midterms worse than finals, in my opinion. During finals week, all other classes are cancelled, allowing students time to study. With midterms, classes continue on, making homework and projects just as much of a priority as upcoming exams. Additionally, with midterms there is no end reward of a vacation. Look alive U of M.

However, it has recently been brought to my attention (and then again and again) that I will be busier after college than I am now. I have attempted to argue that there aren’t enough hours in a day for that to be possible, but these graduates are persistent. Most recently, a young professional explained that it’s just a different, more structured and consistent type of busy.

So it made me wonder, is expecting no classes during midterms, or a fall break unrealistic? Would having these things be a bittersweet luxury?

In the real world, I doubt all other work halts when one project takes priority or nears a deadline. I doubt a few days of working overtime are always followed by a few days off.

Would our energy be better spent finding the dedication and organization to make these hell weeks manageable, over trying to convince the University to change its policies?

In the meantime, find productive study spaces and effective stress releasors. While we are creatures of habit, studying somewhere new may be the thing that allows you to focus on the material, rather than feeling overly comfortable. If every time you study you go to Purple Onion, that cafe will remind you of every assignment you’ve done there. No thank you.

If watching a few episodes of New Girl calms your energy and makes you laugh, recognize that power. However, mixing up your routine, especially for something physical, will have a much greater impact. A run may clear your head, but climbing the new rock wall at the Rec will do the same, while exciting and rejuvenating the brain.

Namaste.

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