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.