Midterms: A College Freshman's Worst Nightmare

Midterms: A College Freshman's Worst Nightmare

Is this the end?
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Fall is in the air, crunching red and burnt orange leaves lying on the ground around you and that sweet fall breeze running through your hair as your headed to class with the sun shining down on you and you smile because you feel a glimpse of warmth. Then you realize you're headed to your first college midterm exam ever. The horror starts to set in, you start to recite every single term you studied the night before and tears start to slowly stream down your face. Reality has now set in.

This may be entirely unrealistic for some but so far this is how midterms have gone for me. Well, maybe not quite this dramatic but definitely somewhere along these lines. I came from a high school where my midterms consisted of challenging my creativity outside of the classroom with a school-wide project during the week. For senior year I got to recreate classic movies from the 60s and 80s with my best friends. Don't get me wrong, I am in no way complaining because it was the highlight of my high school testing career. However, little did I know the following year midterm week would consist of countless hours, minutes, and days put up in a crowded library with way too much caffeine pumping through my system and losing so much sleep the bags under my eyes are heavier than my backpack. Nothing could've prepared me for this.

I think I have made a total of five calls to my mom within the past week consisting of nothing but sobs and "I miss you"s because I feel like I'm failing every class, my laundry isn't done, I'm running out of snacks, coffee doesn't even have an effect on me anymore, and I smell like a wet dog because I spend so much time studying I forget to change or wash my hair. Thank god for dry shampoo, am I right ladies? I apologize again Mom if I scared you, I promise I am mentally stable.

Then the dreaded first midterm comes along. I look like a psycho as I rush to class scouring through the piles and piles of notecards I spent studying for the past 2 weeks religiously. Not even kidding, I could recite my notecards better than I could recite the "Our Father". I finally get in my seat, slightly shaking from a mix of nerves and caffeine overload. Then the test is finally sitting in front of me. The bright white paper and its hundred of words staring deep into my soul waiting to see how good or bad I do. Who knew how intimidating a piece of paper could be? After finishing my 2-minute long staring contest I begin and suddenly it starts flowing out. All of those hours, minutes, days in the library and the hundreds of words scribbled on color-coordinated notecards start to prove their worth. It worked! Driving myself insane, losing sleep, forgetting to eat, and the endless amount of time committed to learning every possible fact is finally starting to pay off. It makes sense! Hell yeah, the answer is A! You know that shoulder can horizontally abduct in the transverse plane, I'll show you if you don't believe me I've done it at least a thousand times this week!

So maybe I was wrong with my original depiction of midterms because in hindsight there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Yes I may have felt like a sleep-deprived maniac for two weeks but let me tell you, hard work certainly pays off. Excelling on a test that you stressed over for hours a day has to be one of the most rewarding feelings in the world. Midterms in high school and college are definitely two entirely different worlds, but what may seem impossible is certainly possible.

So to all my fellow college freshman, we made it. We survived midterms. We have officially adulted and excelled, or not, but we did it. Finals may be another story, but when it comes time to that I hope the odds are ever in your favor.

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To All Student-Athletes Beginning Their Respective Seasons, Remember Why You Play

You are going to get tired. You are going to get worn out...

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Dear athlete,

The season is by far the most exciting time of the year. Big plays, good memories, traveling new places, and winning championships... But yet another promise is that season is also exhausting.

You are going to get tired. You are going to get worn out...

But remember that this season of your life doesn't last forever. Remind yourself why you play.

You play this sport because you love the game. You love the competition, you love your teammates and the friendships that you've formed, you love the lessons you learn aside from the physical aspect.

So each day, continue to choose the game.

It's not easy. But if it was, everyone would do it. But discomfort is where progress happens.

Quit dreading practices, quit wishing for rain, quit complaining about conditioning, and quit taking for granted a busy schedule that is literally made just for you. Tens of thousands of young girls and boys would do anything to be in the position (literally) that you are in. Take advantage of being a role model to those young kids who think the world of you.

Freshmen, this is what you have wanted for so long. Take advantage of the newness, take advantage of the advice, encouragement, and constructive criticism that your older teammates give you. Soak it all in, four years goes by really quickly.

Sophomores, you now know how it works. Be confident in your abilities, yet continue to learn and grow mentally and in your position.

Juniors, prepare to take the lead. Use this season to, of course, continue to sharpen your skill, but also recognize that you're over halfway done, so mentally and physically ready yourself to take the seniors' lead next year.

Seniors, this is it. Your last year of playing the sport that you love. Be a good leader, motivate, and leave your mark on the program in which you have loved for so long. Encourage the athletes behind you to continue the traditions and standards set by the program. Lay it all on the field, leave it all on the court, and leave your program better than you found it.

Take the season one day at a time and, each day, make it your goal to get better. Get better for your team, for you pushing yourself makes everyone else work even harder. So even if you don't get a lot of playing time, make your teammates better by pushing yourself so hard that they have no other choice than to push themselves too. And when a team has every single player pushing themselves to the max, success happens.

Take advantage of this time with your teammates and coaches, for they won't be your teammates and coaches forever.

No matter what year you are and no matter what your role is this season... GROW. You are an integral part of your team and your program.

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Coming From The Girl Who Got Voted 'Most Likely To Be Late To Graduation' In High School

Time management is pivotal.

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I would describe myself as someone who enjoys to stop and smell the roses. In high school, I didn't pay as much attention to the clock. First hour in my mind was an option and I had a proud collection of tardy slips in my car. I realized my lack of time management wasn't holding me back from any standings with my activities. I maintained A-status on the honor's list for my good grades, kept my position in National Honors Society and succeeded in my sports. Clocks really didn't exist in my high school world. However, I soon came to realize after my freshman year of college that a better acknowledgment of time was crucial.

 Time management is "cool".

I went from feeling like a badass for skipping first hour in high school to feeling guilty for missing even five minutes of my 8 AM lecture. I always questioned why my mindset changed in such a short amount of time. As I independently matured, I noticed that tardiness wasn't a "cool" thing anymore. All the numerous people telling me that "early is on-time, and on-time is late" might have actually known what they were talking about. I realized that good time management skills were something I had to gain on my own.

My steps towards a productive lifestyle.

An organized and productive lifestyle wasn't something I gained overnight. There were a lot of beneficial steps I took to get where I am today. The best thing at the beginning of my transformation was giving myself an extra ten minutes wherever I was going. Class at 10:20 AM? No. I would tell myself the class starts at 10:10 AM. Those words "early is on time" have become what I continually strive for. Also, I tend to schedule classes early in the day. It's amazing how much time can be wasted sleeping in until 12 PM and putzing around in the afternoon. Even by limiting the amount of time I spend on my phone has helped. Not only has it helped my productivity but also has resulted in a healthier lifestyle.

Memories are priceless. 

I look back at that mock election yearbook picture and I can't help but smile. There's nothing more nostalgic than reminiscing on old photos from the past. However, nothing more exciting than living in the moment and thinking about the future. I've come so far. I'm proud of myself.

And no, I wasn't actually late to graduation, if you were curious.

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