Having A Mid(Term) Life Crisis" This Week?

Having A Mid(Term) Life Crisis" This Week?

Midterms aren't testing how well you're doing in a class, but they sure are testing you in Life-101
Cat D
Cat D

It’s that time of the year again.Coffee, study, sleep, study, coffee, study, study, pizza delivery to Dirac, study. It’s midterms! How wonderful.

I’ve realized in my past four years of undergrad midterms, and this year with my masters “midterms” that this week of pure torture in the middle of the semester is teaching us way more than what we read in our books at 3 A.M. in the library. Midterms are testing our lives, not our studies.

As I was looking at myself in the mirror today, ponytail, baggy eyes, and a tea in hand I realized this fact. It was an epiphany - one that I wish I had realized in my undergrad years. My undergrad midterms were the weeks that I really struggled with during this time of the semester. I’ll admit, my sophomore year I actually fell asleep in a cubicle at Stroz for a solid two hours and woke up to a fly in my Gatorade. Not my proudest moment, luckily it was super late at night on the upper floors so no one saw me drooling all over that terrible text book. I am only admitting to this moment now because I graduated with a degree in hand and successfully made it past the all-nighters, or in my case the wannabe all-nighters.

Midterms really are a good for evaluating yourself in this new year. Where are you in school?

a) You’re a freshman in college now - time to prove yourself, and show how smart you are.

b) You’re a sophomore - you have made it through before, act cool.

c) You’re a junior! - upperclassmen pro at college, but what are these upper level courses?

d) You’re a senior – only need to pass fail this foreign language, but actually how to I boost my GPA 4.0 whole points before spring?

e) You’re a fan of FSU. Winter is coming and so is a fifth year.

Regardless of your answer the real question remains; How are you handling things? What are you prioritizing?

This is a lecture most professors give to remind us to focus on school. You’re here for school. You’re paying to be here. You lose about $17 per class that you skip. That’s cover for two… and honestly worth a whole separate article. So, let’s get back to prioritizing.

If you actually do make it to class, and you do pay attention, why are you still cramming? Maybe midterms are a good time to re-evaluate your study skills or your study group. Study groups can be effective only when everyone contributes equally. Are you the slacker who comes to copy everyone’s notes? Are you the one who spends so much time trying to help your partner understand one concept that you don’t leave time for yourself to figure out answers in areas you may be lacking in? Both types of students equally have some adjustments to make to help themselves.

Maybe you’re not the study group kind. You’re the kid who is so involved you get home at 10:30 P.M., after the study session has packed up and gone home. You on the other hand haven’t even cracked open your study guide. You are fine with that though because you always manage to get it all done, right? Who needs sleep?

Newsflash- everyone.

I actually spoke about this in my speech class with Professor Ziegler. Did you know that your brain function after not sleeping the night before an exam is equivalent to your brain function at .05 BAC? This was released by researchers at Ausenco – a global diversified engineering company in an article published in 2013. It’s old news to them, but “new” news to us. If you wouldn’t swing by the strip right before your exam after all your hard work studying, why would you deprive yourself of sleep? It’s the same results.

At the end of your exams this week when you’re walking home more than ready to crawl into bed for a few hours- or 20 - take notes on how this week went and what you should do for finals in just a month or so. What are you prioritizing? If you’re not doing what’s best for you this week, I’m begging you to this December. Your school, your health, your future all add up to be worth a lot because you are worth a lot.

You know it.

Show it.

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To The Teacher Who Was So Much More

Thank you for everything

I think it's fair to say that most people remember at least one teacher who had a lasting impact on them. I have been incredibly lucky to have several teachers who I will never forget, but one individual takes the cake. So here's to you: thank you for all you have done.

Thank you for teaching me lessons not just in the textbook.

Although you taught a great lecture, class was never just limited to the contents of the course. Debates and somewhat heated conversations would arise between classmates over politics and course material, and you always encouraged open discussion. You embraced the idea of always having an opinion, and always making it be heard, because why waste your voice? You taught me to fight for things I believed in, and to hold my ground in an argument. You taught me to always think of others before doing and speaking. You showed me the power of kindness. Thank you for all the important lessons that may not have been included in the curriculum.

Thank you for believing in me.

Especially in my senior year, you believed in me when other teachers didn't. You showed me just what I could accomplish with a positive and strong attitude. Your unwavering support kept me going, especially when I melted into a puddle of tears weekly in your office. You listened to my stupid complaints, understood my overwhelming stress-induced breakdowns, and told me it was going to be okay. Thank you for always being there for me.

Thank you for inspiring me.

You are the epitome of a role model. Not only are you intelligent and respected, but you have a heart of gold and emit beautiful light where ever you go. You showed me that service to others should not be looked at as a chore, but something to enjoy and find yourself in. And I have found myself in giving back to people, thanks to your spark. Thank you for showing me, and so many students, just how incredible one person can be.

Thank you for changing my life.

Without you, I truly would not be where I am today. As cliche as it sounds, you had such a remarkable impact on me and my outlook on life. Just about a year has passed since my graduation, and I'm grateful to still keep in touch. I hope you understand the impact you have made on me, and on so many other students. You are amazing, and I thank you for all you have done.

Cover Image Credit: Amy Aroune

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Studying the LSAT and Working Full Time

How to make room for advancing your future while maintaining the present.


Working full time and studying for the LSAT proves a delicate tightrope that many people grapple to tread. If you find yourself in such a situation, then some good news is on the horizon as many have juggled the requirements of both aspects seamlessly in the past. Today we take a look at what these individuals did and how you too can effectively balance the scales without leaning too much to one side or the other.

Starting early

Having a full-time job leaves little morsels of time to work with and often the best approach entails beginning early so that the collective total makes up constructive study hours in the long run. As a general rule of thumb for the working class, start a minimum of 4 but preferably 6 months to the date of the test. Science dictates that there are half a dozen intellectual and quality hours per day and with a demanding job breathing down your neck, you can only set aside about a third of that for productive LSAT test prep. With 3 months being the measure of ideal study time for a full-time student, you'll need double that period to be sufficiently up to par.

Maximizing your mornings

Studying in the evenings after a grueling and intellectually draining day at work is as good as reading blank textbooks. It's highly unlikely you'll be able to grasp complex concepts at this time, so start your mornings early so that you can devote this extra time when you are at your mental pinnacle to unraveling especially challenging topics. Evening study times should only be for refresher LSAT prep or going through light subject matters requiring little intellectual initiative. For those who hit their stride at night, take some time to unwind and complete your chores before getting down to business well before bedtime.

Taking some time off

All work and no play does indeed make Jack a dull boy and going back and forth between work and study is a sure-fire recipe for disaster. So take some time off of work every now and then, preferably during weekdays- you can ask for a day off every fortnight or so- as weekends are a prime study period free of work obligations. Such breaks reduce fatigue, better study performance and increase the capacity for information retention.

Prioritizing study

Given the scarce oasis of free time in your busy schedule, you cannot afford to miss even a single session and this commitment is important in spreading out the burden so that it is not overwhelming as you approach the finish line. Be sure to have a clear schedule in place and even set reminders/alarms to help enforce your timetable. If it's unavoidable to miss a single session, set aside a makeup as soon as possible.

Last but not least, have a strong finish. Once you are approaching the home run i.e. about 2 or 3 weeks to the test, take this time off to shift your focus solely to the test. The last month can make or break your LSAT test prep and it'll be hard to concentrate on working whilst focusing completely on the test.

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