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.
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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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4 reasons how Drake's New Album May Help Us Fight Mental Illness

Increasing Evidence Points to Music as a Potential Solution to the Mental Health Problem.

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Okay, You caught me!

I am NOT just talking about everybody's favorite actor-turned-rapper— or second, if you've seen Childish Gambino's "This is America" music video. Unfortunately, current research hasn't explored specific genres and artists. However, studies HAVE provided significant evidence in possibilities for music to treat mental health disorders. Now, before you say something that your parents would not be proud of, ask yourself if you can really blame me for wanting to get your attention. This is an urgent matter concerning each one of us. If we all face the truth, we could very well reach one step closer to solving one of society's biggest problems: Mental Health.

The Problem:

As our nation continues to bleed from tragedies like the horrific shooting that shattered the lives of 70 families whose loved ones just wanted to watch the "Dark Knight Rises" during its first hours of release, as well as the traumatic loss of seventeen misfortunate innocents to the complications of mental health disorders in the dear city of Parkland— a city mere hours from our very own community— it's impossible to deny the existence of mental illness. As many of us can already vouch, mental illness is much more common than what most would think: over 19 million adults in America suffer from a mental health disorder. Picture that: a population slightly less than that of Florida is plagued by hopelessness, isolation, and utter despair.

Disease in the form of depression holds millions of people prisoner, as anxieties instill crippling desperation and too many struggles with finding peace. This can be you. It could be your brother, your sister, your mother, your father, your cousin, your aunt, your uncle, your friend, your roommate, your fraternity brother, your sorority sister, your lab partner, or just your classmate that sits in the corner of the lecture hall with a head buried into a notebook that camouflages all emotion.

I hope we— the UCF community— understand the gravity of the problem, but it's clear that some still see mental illness as a disease that affects only a handful of "misfits" who "terrorize" our streets, while the numbers reveal more to the issue. In fact, 1 in 5 Americans suffers from a mental health disorder. The problem is so serious that suicide has risen to become the second-leading cause of death among 20 to 24-year-olds. While many continue to ask for more antidepressants and even the occasional "proper spanking," recent studies indicate increases in occurrence, such as one in depression from 5.9% in 2012 to 8.2% in 2015. So, clearly, none of that is working.

The Evidence:

If we really want to create a world where our children are free from the chains of mental illness, we need to think outside the box. Doctors and scientists won't really talk about this since it's still a growing field of research, but music has strong potential. We don't have any options at the moment, which means we need to change our mindset about music and to continue to explore its medicinal benefits. If you're still skeptical because of the title, then please consider these 4 pieces of solid evidence backed by scientific research:

1. Music has been proven to improve disorders like Parkinson's Disease.

Researchers sponsored by the National Institute of Health— the country's largest research agency— saw an improvement in the daily function of patients with Parkinson's Disease. This makes patients shake uncontrollably, which often prevents them from complete functionality. The disease is caused by a shortage of dopamine— a chemical your neurons, or brain cells, release; since music treats this shortage, there's an obvious ability to increase dopamine levels. As numerous studies connect dopamine shortages to mental illnesses like depression, addiction, and ADHD, someone could possibly use music's proven ability to increase dopamine levels to treat said problems.

2. Listening to the music has the potential to activate your brain's "reward center."

In 2013, Valorie Salimpoor and fellow researchers conducted a study that connected subjects' pleasure towards music to a specific part of the brain. This key structure, the nucleus accumbens, is the body's "reward center," which means all of you have experienced its magical powers. In fact, any time the brain detects a rewarding sensation— drinking ice-cold water after a five-mile run in sunny, humid Florida, eating that Taco Bell chalupa after a long happy hour at Knight's Library, and even consuming recreational drugs— this structure releases more of that fantastic dopamine. So, with further research into specifics, doctors may soon be prescribing your daily dose of tunes for your own health.

3. Listening to Music may be more effective than prescription anti-anxiety medication.

In 2013, Mona Lisa Chanda and Daniel J. Levitin— two accomplished doctors in psychology— reviewed a study wherein patients waiting to undergo surgery were given either anti-anxiety medications or music to listen to. The study took into account cortisol levels, which are used daily by healthcare professionals to gauge patient levels. This "stress hormone" was actually found to be lower in patients who listened to classical music rather those who took the recommended dose of prescription drugs. Sit there and think about that for a second: these patients actually felt more relaxed with something as simple as MUSIC than with chemicals that are made specifically to force patients into relaxation before surgery. Why pop a Xanax when you can just listen to Beethoven?

4. Music may release the chemicals that help you naturally relax and feel love.

Further studies continue to justify music's place in the medical world as results demonstrate increases in substances such as prolactin— a hormone that produces a relaxing sensation— as well as oxytocin— the substance that promotes warmth and happiness during a hug between mother and child. So this study basically showed us that music has the potential to actually make you feel the way you did when Mom or Dad would embrace you with the warmest hug you've ever felt.

The Future:

The evidence I present you with today is ultimately just a collection of individual situations where specific people found specific results. There are a lot of variables when it comes to any research study; therefore, data is never truly certain. We should take these findings as strong suggestions to a possible solution, but we must remember the possibility of failure in our search.

The neurochemistry behind the music and its medicinal properties is just beginning to unfold before the scientific community. In fact, extremely qualified scientists from the National Institute of Health— the organization that basically runs any important medical study in the United States— continue to remind us of the subject's youth with the constant use of "potential" behind any and all of their findings. Therefore, it's our responsibility as a community to look into this— not just that of the scientists at the National Institute of Health.

We're all surrounded by music. It's at the bars. It's in our ears during all-night sessions at the UCF library. It's keeping us awake through East Colonial traffic at 7:00 AM while hordes of students focus on their cell phone screens instead of the paved roads ahead. It's in the shoes we wear, the actions we take, and the words we say. IF YOU'RE READING THIS: it's accessible to you. So, don't be shy, and try to play with your Spotify account, or even just on YouTube, and gauge the power of music. As more and more of us see the light, we can promote the movement and carry on as more research comes out to support us.

Drop the bars, drop those addictive pills that destroy your body slowly, and pick up your headphones and press PLAY.

Just relax, close your eyes, smile, and live.

Cover Image Credit:

@champagnepapi

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If You're Wondering Why Gibson Went Bankrupt, Here's Why

Despite their popularity, Gibson guitars declared bankruptcy. Here's why.

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Gibson is one of the most well-known guitar manufacturers in the world and sells more than 170,000 guitars a year. It's survived the Great Depression, two World Wars, and the advent of electronic music, but the future is doubtful. Last May, Gibson Guitars filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in May after taking on almost half a billion dollars in debt and is struggling to pay back its creditors.

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