7 Stages Of Going Through Midterms, As Told By An English Major

7 Stages Of Going Through Midterms, As Told By An English Major

It's crazy and it makes you feel like you can't do it but you know in your heart and mind that you love this life.

Let me just say, this round of midterms were crazy. I think I cried at least twice, just today. People think being an English major is a cop-out but I'm here to set the record straight. Shit is hard. I had four papers due, along with normal reading and class work. Seems easy, right? Each paper was vastly challenging and long. How is it people think I can talk about Chaucer for 5 pages and how he wrote super vaguely so you have minimal material to use. Middle English is not easy to write about. There are close readings, translating, and then trying to understand what the hell they are trying to say. Honestly, sometimes I think even they don't even know. Then I had an art paper that was supposed to be 7 pages long. That just speaks for itself. I had two other 5 page papers due and I felt like screaming. And the cherry on top? All due on the same day at the same time, given to you a week before it's due. I wish I had tests that I can fake study for because I know I'll pass. Papers you can't guess. You have to make sense and your English professors won't go easy on you. This is what it's like being an English major during midterms.

Stage 1: Shock and Denial.

The professor gives you the assignment and the paper length. You look at your friends in class and give each other the "look". You know you're screwed but you just move into denial. It won't be that hard. You have no idea what the topic means? Ah well, guess you'll figure it out the day before it's due. You know you shouldn't procrastinate this one but I mean, you always save the hardest for last right? RIGHT!?

Stage 2: Pain and Guilt.

This is the "oh shit" stage. It where you realize you fucked up in waiting to do the hardest one last. It where you cry, staring at the computer screen begging words to just appear. Please something happen! Minimum of 1800 words and you have 30? Yeah, cue the water works. It's just so hard. You're feeling bad for not doing it sooner and how you keep checking your phone or Facebook as a sort of life line. Someone save me. Like literally, please help. Bye, bye 3.9 GPA, it was nice knowing you. Totally waving the white flag.

Stage 3: Anger and Bargaining.

Why would your professor do this to you!? It's their fault for making this so difficult. Why couldn't they have assigned an easy paper for midterms. You had to assign a minimum of 2000 words? No, you didn't Professor 'I'm Trying To Kill You". Most of your professors are sadists. That's the anger talking, of course. You know they are only trying to challenge you to help you grow and be smarter but still. Then comes the bargaining. There are two different kinds. You probably do both, and there is plenty of shame. First is bargaining with your professor: asking for extensions, office hours meeting, or do you really have to do it? Can there be, like, a freebie? I'll help you garden or something just don't make me do this, please! Of course this all gets rejected but it never hurts to try.

The second type of bargaining is with yourself. I'll do one page and then watch ONE episode of Law and Order: SVU. One always turns into five and the next thing you know its 2 AM and your paper is due at 8 AM. You begin to pray now, even if you aren't religious.

Stage 4: Depression/Reflection.

This is where you realize that you messed up. You promise yourself you'll do better next semester but you know the same cycle will repeat. It's all a part of being an English major, hell, a college student. Maybe I'll get it right for my senior year, who knows? The paper is still empty and you begin to give up. You know this paper can't be good...or can it?

Stage 5: The Upward Turn.

Oh my god. The BEST idea just came to you. All of a sudden words are flying out and before you know it half the paper is done. The three quarters. You stall on the conclusion because be real, we all do. It's like this magical moment happened and Olivia Benson somehow gave you the best idea and your paper has taken a beautiful, elegant shape and you are just so close to being done!

Stage 6: Working Though To The End.

You're tired and hungry but you push through those feelings to complete your goal. You can do this. Your paper is almost done. You're doing the in text citations and works cited page. You realize how close you are to being done and just push. You grab your coffee/tea/soda and chug it down, hoping it'll give you one last burst of energy to make this a home run.

Stage 7: Acceptance and Sleep.

You finally did it. It's done, you're done, and you can finally go to sleep. You don't revise or read it over because you know you'll see mistakes and honestly you don't care. You just want to finally lay in bed and close your eyes but before you do that, you do one of the best things in a college students world: you close all the tabs and submit the paper.

You can see Spring Break on the horizon and it gives you hope. You tell yourself just one more year and then you are done.

This is the life of an English major everyday and the life of a college student at midterms. It's crazy and it makes you feel like you can't do it but you know in your heart and mind that you love this life. You wouldn't want it any other way because you know without all this you can't reach your dreams and that's what pushes you though it in the end; your future.

Cover Image Credit: CSUStan

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75 Things To Do Instead Of Studying For Finals

Need some procrastination inspiration? Here ya go.

With the end of the semester nearly upon us, college students everywhere are trembling with anxiety over the impending doom that some call “finals week.” To prepare for this hellish week of exams, one might assume that students are hard at work reviewing class notes, practicing with flash cards, memorizing vocabulary terms and going over study guides. In a perfect world, that would undoubtedly be the case. But in reality, most students are probably just procrastinating.

So if you’re busy not studying for finals but quickly running out of things to do, here are some ideas:

1. Think about all the studying you have to do

2. Cry

3. Sleep

4. Make yourself a cup of coffee

5. Take a shower

6. Watch an episode of a series on Netflix

7. And then another one

8. And another one

9. Well, you might as well finish the whole season now

10. Clean your room

11. Do laundry

12. Order a pizza

13. Eat the pizza (bonus points if you can finish the whole thing by yourself)

14. Regret eating all that pizza

15. Get over it because pizza is always worth it

16. Go to the gym

17. Check Facebook

18. Refresh Facebook, just in case something new happened in the past 53 seconds

19. Write a letter to your best friend

20. Look at cute pictures of puppies—for six hours

21. Make cookies

22. Watch that “Spongebob” episode where he tries to write an essay but ends up procrastinating for like 14 hours (we can all relate)

23. Organize your closet

24. Get sucked into an Instagram-stalking black hole

25. Accidentally “like” your ex-boyfriend’s brother’s girlfriend’s best friend’s Instagram post from 129 weeks ago

26. Have a mini freak-out because, wow, that was so creepy of you

27. Stare blankly out a window

28. Go for a walk

29. Watch a Christmas movie

30. Listen to music

31. Try to figure out how to lick your elbow (nope, still can’t do it)

32. Look up videos of the Peanut Butter Baby

33. Recreate the original video with your friends

34. Take another shower to wash off all that peanut butter

35. Write down all the things you have to do before the end of the semester in your planner

36. Close your planner without actually doing any of them

37. Look at fun craft ideas on Pinterest

38. Call your mom

39. Go through all the old pictures on your phone

40. Do some jumping jacks

41. Write scathing reviews for all your professors on ratemyprofessors.com

42. Wash your walls (walls get dirty too, OK?)

43. Question your sanity

44. Look up how many licks it really takes to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop

45. Text a cute boy

46. Write a short novel

47. Realize that creative writing really isn’t your strong suit and throw that short novel away

48. Eat some popcorn

49. Research the unemployment rate for college dropouts

50. Ponder the meaning of life

51. Repeatedly say the word “ponder” out loud because it sounds really weird

52. Paint your nails

53. Rearrange all the furniture in your room (after you let your nail polish dry)

54. Redo your nails because they weren’t quite dry and you messed them up

55. Go Christmas shopping

56. Plan your wedding

57. Look up the nutrition facts for your favorite Subway sandwich

58. Snapchat really hideous pictures of yourself

59. Learn the choreography for all the dance numbers in "High School Musical"

60. Make a killer video of yourself performing the routines

61. Delete the video and never tell a soul about it because, wow, that was really embarrassing

62. Take a Buzzfeed quiz to figure out which Disney princess you are

63. Watch all the Disney movies you can find illegally online

64. Get addicted to a stupid game on your phone

65. Calculate how high you have to score on the exam to still get an A in the class (258 percent is totally achievable, right?)

66. Run a marathon

67. Just kidding about that whole marathon thing—maybe start out with just running around the block?

68. Make a scrapbook full of pictures of your dog

69. Buy a super cute dress online that you really don’t need

70. Decide that your self-worth is not dependent on your exam scores, and resolve to stop studying altogether

71. Change your mind because you’d actually like to have a decent GPA

72. Try out meditation

73. Braid your hair into an extremely complicated up-do for no reason

74. Come to the conclusion that you should probably start actually studying now

75. Start back at #1 and repeat

Cover Image Credit: studygram.tumblr.com

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An Open Letter To Professors Who Assign Group Work

In the classroom, there is NO strength in numbers.


There is something to be said about the workings of a well-oiled machine. The swift cohesion of pieces working together to create a masterful finished product. Each individual part bringing its own unique gifts and interesting character together to create an impeccable arrangement of academic collaboration. It is absolutely awe-inspiring that professors dream of this sort of outcome from the random chunk of students that they forced together. So sorry to break it to you, professors, but the group project you assign in your class is not going to work like this. The final product will not be a meticulously crafted work of art. It is going to turn into a flaming disaster as your bitter students shamefully share the work they have thrown together.

Group projects are the bane of my, and most students', existence. You assign them in large lecture halls, small discussion courses, and every class in between. Most of the time you assemble the members of each group yourself, creating the saddest excuse for a team to ever grace the planet. This leaves the students no choice as to who they will be working with, which essentially makes the grade out of the individual's hand because they have no power over which random stranger will be tossed into their group. In the rare occasion that you do not assign the groups yourself, you leave the fear-stricken students to frantically gather their own clusters of people. This is just as bad because in this case students typically choose groups based on geographical location in the classroom, their seats that they chose on the first day of class and never got around to relocating.

Regardless of how they were gathered, every group project will introduce your students to a dynamic range of personalities. There is the one super intense leader that thinks this project grade is the single most important moment of their entire life, and if everyone does not commit their full selves to it they will actually burn the school to the ground. Conversely, there is the lazy, weak link; who is consistently dropping the ball on the group's shared research document and honestly none of the other group members even know what this person looks like because they skip class so ridiculously much. There is the one person who works every second of every day and can never fit your group meeting into their schedule because their nannying job is so important (this is actually a subtweet at me, my apologies to all of my past group members, I just have a really busy schedule, okay). Please, do not subject your students' grades to depend on the work of these insane classmates. A student's grade should reflect their own, individual work, group projects skew and make that impossible.

I understand that you mean well by assigning these projects. You hope to teach us how to work well with others, a valuable communicative asset in the real world. However, in the real world, there are standards for hiring at a company and if a worker does not perform well they will be fired. There are no standards for getting into my psychology class, any student with a laptop and a break in their schedule on Tuesday and Thursday mornings is welcome to join the class. There are no standards for performance either. If a student does not perform well in a group project their grade will plummet, which to my surprise does not greatly bother as many students as I thought, as does every other member of the group's grade. So unfair, so unparallel to the real world. Stop comparing your English 101 class to the real world.

Please professors, just stop with the group projects. I will happily write all of the papers, study all of the lectures, and even read all of the chapters in my textbook. Just don't make me create another Google Slides presentation with a bunch of strangers again.

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