The 13 Stages of Midterm Season

The 13 Stages of Midterm Season

The inevitable once-a-semester occurrence.

The middle of the semester marks a stressful time for all college students. After weeks of doing the minimum to get by, we reach a point where reality hits and we realize we need to pull out the syllabi we've had tucked away since we received them on the first day of classes and utilize our brainpower to attain the grades that will often determine how the rest of the semster will go. We’ve been dreading it all semester, but the season has arrived in the blink of an eye, just as it always does. One by one, we get hit by the 13 stages of midterm season.

1. Denial

You know the season is approaching, but you choose to deny it rather than deal with it. It’s probably too early to start studying, anyway, and wouldn’t you rather wait to start until closer to the date of the test so you can cover more of the material in class?

2. Anxiety

You’ve been holding in your denial long enough that it’s starting to take its toll and convert to anxiety. With time, you become more nervous about your upcoming papers and tests. You know you should probably take action, but college without schoolwork is too much fun to give up.

3. Acceptance

You start to accept that it’s time to cut down the fun as you prepare for your mid-semester assignments. You acknowledge that midterm season is in the air, and you have a duty as a student that you must tend to. It's almost as good as studying...but not quite.

4. Procrastination

You’ve come a long way since the beginning of this process, and now that you’re so close to actually opening a book, your creativity begins to shine as you come up with every possible excuse to avoid actually doing so. You’ve suddenly become dedicated to cleaning your room, running your errands, and getting a good night’s sleep in an attempt to take advantage of anything else you can do to use your time wisely and not study.

5. Pressure

The longer you put it off, the more the pressure piles on. You feel the clock ticking along with the accumulating burden of schoolwork on your shoulders, and so the anxiety continues.

6. Motivation

You’ve been dealing with the stress of upcoming midterms for awhile now, but there’s no reason why you shouldn’t have started already. You’re a completely capable individual who’s come this far and have survived midterms in the past, and you can do it this time around, too! Your future is in your hands, and now’s your chance to show what you can do. A surge of motivation powers over you as you get closer to actually opening a book.

7. Productivity

You finally take your aggressions out onto your schoolwork. Your assignments have been taking over your thoughts and now you begin to take action. After all that procrastination, you’re productive and effective in tackling your assignments.

8. Cramming

As productive as you are, there is unfortunately a time restraint. You’ve got a bunch of things due in the same week and lots of material to cover. You cram all your work into a short period of time in order to complete what’s necessary.

9. Overproduction Mode

In order to cram efficiently, you force your body into overproduction mode, which often includes all-nighters, skipped meals, and alienation from the outside world. You dedicate the majority of your life to acing all your assignments and temporarily practically surrender your humanity as a result.

10. Performance

Deadlines and test days arrive. It’s time to finally do your best and show what you know! The past few weeks have been leading up to this, and it’s finally your time to shine!

11. Relief

Nothing matches up to that breath of relief after having completed yet another midterm season, especially if you’ve done so confidently. What’s done is done, and that massive weight is finally lifted off your shoulders.

12. Celebration

With the completion of midterm season comes the retrieval of freedom, and that calls for a celebration. You’ve earned a few nights of recklessness after all that hard work and to take advantage of that free time between now and finals season!

Midterms are stressful, but at least we all stress together. It's important to remember that you're not alone and are surrounded by other students who are going through the same thing as you. You may as well suffer through the stages together, and don't forget to celebrate when it's over!

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Empowering Mantras That Soothe The Soul

Learn and repeat these mantras to center yourself.

January is the month of change. We can decide to change at any time during the year, but the start of the new year pushes us to be our best self. If you have something you want to stop, or start doing, now is the time. As I sit in Spain far away from my family, friends, and peanut butter (which is shockingly impossible to find in Spain), I’m confronted with a new challenge and a new opportunity to grow. Although studying abroad is an incredible opportunity and I am more than grateful, I would be lying if I said there aren’t moments of crying in the shower and longing for my body pillow at home (his name is Maxwell and he is pink, and no, I’m not pregnant).

Whenever I get overwhelmed I find it extremely helpful to stop, take a deep breath (or sixty) and repeat calming mantras to myself until the feeling passes. Mantras can be words or sentences and phrases that you can repeat to yourself anytime, although traditionally they have been used during meditation. The goal is to help focus the mind internally and block out any external distractions. It helps to center you and mentally decongest. Scientifically, the benefits are incredible.

The repetition of mantras have been linked to a decrease in heart rate, brain waves and the ability to slow down breathing.

“I am enough”

Fake it till you make it. Believe it or not, say it over and over again. We are what we think, so think positive.

“This too shall pass”

Life goes on even when you think it can’t. We have to experience the peaks and valleys to live a full life. Remember that in a bad moment, it will pass and a new feeling will replace it. And treasure and revel in the good moments because you know what you have overcome and what you may face in the future.

“I am grateful”

Your nail breaks, you spill your coffee, you tumble down a flight of stairs. Plenty of things happen throughout our days that may cloud our overall perception. Challenge yourself in those negative moments to list three events or people you may have overlooked that made your day brighter. Gratitude literally alters the way our brains process our emotions and thoughts and the best part is that we are in control of making our thoughts positive.

“Let it Be”

Time and time again we learn this lesson. It is what it is, what will be will be. That’s not to say it’s always a graceful moment of acceptance, but there’s a certain freedom in knowing that so many things are out of our control.

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5 Must Things To Do During Second Semester

Looking for things to do during this winter season? This list has got you covered.

For many of us who have just started our second semester, or are about to, the stress of college is about to come at you full force and smack you in the face. Personally, I find second semester to be much more difficult compared to first semester.

First semester is filled with tailgates, football games, hayrides, pumpkin patches, Thanksgiving, Halloween, the list can go on and on. Due to the fact that there's so many more activities to do first semester than second, that can lead to a semi-dull second semester. With that being said however, here's a list of things you can do to prevent all that boredom.

1. Go to other sporting events that your college offers you

College sports are one of the best parts of living in America so you might as well take full advantage of them. Even though football season may be over, hockey and basketball season are in full swing right now. Also, by end of March and beginning of April, baseball will start as well. Going to games as a student is a great way to have fun with your friends while not having to bust open the piggy bank.

2. Pajama and movie nights

A simple enough idea, but has the potential to have tons of fun if you decide to give it your all. During the winter, especially up north, it can be brutally cold so staying inside is priority majority of the time. But that doesn't mean there's not a way to enjoy all that cold.

Curl up with your best friends whether it be in your dorm room or apartment while showing off the funniest or best pajamas you own. Pick out your favorite movies and settle down for a night full of laughter, gossip, and memories.

3. Enjoy the outdoors

Even though I just said that winters up north can be brutally, there's still plenty to offer when it comes to enjoying the great outdoors. Go ice skating and watch all of your friends struggle to stay upright and fall down, or go skiing/snowboarding and enjoy the beauty of the snow while getting a great workout in.

Or, you could be like my friends and steal dining hall food trays and use those to sled down some hills. Having these options can help you look forward to the winter and enjoy activities other than staying inside.

4. Go to a museum

Learning about different cultures or parts of history can be a lot more fascinating than people would like to admit. Go to your local college museum and check out cool facts there or drive to a city around you to check out other museums as well. If you're close to a moderate to large city, you will usually be able to find a history museum, aquarium, or some type of science museums. These are fun ways to learn new facts about the past, present, and future of our world.

5. Day trip

Spontaneous (or not spontaneous) day trips can be a blast with your friends or significant other. Choose a random place to go and drive there. Find something to do wherever you go. You'll make some great memories that'll last you a lifetime. It doesn't even have to be far, it can be only 30 minutes away and still be just as fun. Where the destination is doesn't matter, it's who you're going with that matters.

I hope these 5 ideas of what to do in the winter will help you enjoy your second semester of college while still having as much as first semester. After all, you're only in college for four years, so take advantage of everything you can do while you can!

Cover Image Credit: Maddie Blank

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