Midterms – As told by FRIENDS

Midterms – As told by FRIENDS

With the bulk of my midterms in the rearview mirror (and now that I have time to blog again), it only makes sense to talk about the stages of studying for them. Midterms make for a stressful time, and each and every one of us have different schedules, different forms of midterms, different studying habits, but almost unanimously, we go through the same stages of studying.

Stage 1: Confidence


At the beginning of midterms, let’s say a week or two before, we all feel confident. We have done well on homework and papers, and have made friends with the professor. All in all, we are feeling good. We are starting to study early, getting our notes together, and planning out our exam schedule in advance.

Stage 2: Weekend before midterms


The weekend before your midterms begin finally arrives, and it is time for a big decision: do you get ahead on sleep or on studying? There is always that time where you know you can get sleep before the midterms start or you can study so you can sleep more during the week. College, in itself, is a constant self-bargaining between sleep and studying. I personally identify with Chandler on this one, I don’t move on Sundays.

Stage 3: Review Session


If you are lucky enough to have a review session, this picture is a pretty accurate representation of how it looks. Usually, a lot of people show up and everyone is attentive and eager to learn, mostly because their grade depends on it. Everyone has questions and wants to know the format of the exam, but usually, the revelation of everything that could possibly be on the exam is quite intimidating.

Stage 4: Question Everything


In Stage 4, everyone has exited the review session and headed straight back to the library. With only a couple of days until the exams, it starts to become real. Study groups start to form. Questions for the Professor are sent in numerous, coffee-fueled emails. Notes are printed and organized. Overall, this stage is where it gets a little scary.

Stage 5: Procrastination

friends-friends-tv-show-grunge-grunge-girl-favim-com-3209612         friends-tv-show-quotes-1

Inevitably, procrastination sets in. You can only fight it off for so long. You learn new things about yourself and about your life, about how many ceiling tiles are on C-Level, about how many cups of coffee the guy across from you can drink before he drops, and about how many things seem important when you are trying to avoid studying.

Stage 6: Exam Time


By now, you are so tired. Exam day is finally here, and you chug your last cup of coffee, and head in. You aim to grab your usual seat, sit next to your friends, get out your pencils, and begin. Before you know it, the 50 minute exam you studied 5 days for is over, and you couldn’t feel less stressed. Your hard work is over because the exam is over.

Stage 7: Relaxation Time


Now, exams are done and it is time to make up for all the netflix and sleep that you missed. Relax, you deserve it. Midterms is a crazy and hectic time, but it comes and goes year after year, and guess what? We survive. Whatever your methods, whatever your stages, whatever your exams, we all have midterms and we all make it out the other side feeling pride in the hard work we can do.

My Monday

My Monday

I know, the title did not get this blog off to the best start, but Mondays are actually way more important than they seem. Mondays get the week started, which, in college, can mean getting ahead on work, being behind on work, being on time to classes, going to office hours and many other things. Monday is the day that the week begins, and for me, my Mondays are packed to the brim with class, group meetings, and so much in between.

9:00 AM – WAKE UP JOSH!!!

My plan this semester was to keep a steady sleep schedule, which is way more difficult than it sounds. Whether it is your friend wanting to hang out, or your assignment due at 9 am, it is hard to find a time that works to sleep every night. Whichever way, I have my alarm set at around 9 am on Mondays. I don’t start class until 11, which means I use these couple hours to get prepared for the week, set my agenda for the week, and on a very rare occasion, work out.

11:00 AM – Introduction to American Politics

My first class of the day, Introduction to American Politics, is a large lecture class with probably 200 people. Our professor, Benjamin Ginsberg, is an amazing lecturer who actually authored the textbooks we use, and it is amazing to hear from him about his experience in politics. With this being an election year, it is a great class to talk about relevant issues in current political events.

PRO TIP: Go to sections of big lecture classes, it is the best way to be active in a large class.

12:00 PM – Lunch

LUNCH TIME!!! I typically eat lunch around noon everyday either in Levering, which is a food court style dining hall on campus, or on St. Paul Street. St. Paul has a large selection of food from subway, to pizza studio, to chipotle, and then local favorites such as Ledo’s pizza and eddies sandwiches.

1:30 PM – Introduction to Social Statistics

Now it’s time for Introduction to Social Statistics. I have a perpetual fear of math, just all of it, every bit of it. Luckily, our professor this year is so excited about teaching us all that he really takes on an active role in the class, answering questions, responding to emails, and explaining the actual real world use of statistics.  The class is pretty small, mostly because it is statistics tailored towards social science majors, but the material is actually extremely interesting and the rest of the semester looks promising.

4:30 PM – Poverty and Social Welfare Policy

My next class, Poverty and Social Welfare Policy, has been one of the most exciting, interactive, and difficult classes I have taken at Hopkins. Our professor, Dr. Kathryn Edin, is a very well-known sociologist who authored the recent book $2 a Day, which of course, is on the reading list for this semester. The class provides an in-depth look at poverty in America, and the programs enacted to prevent it. Without spoiling any of the material, the class really pulls on your heart strings and challenges your critical thinking at every step.

6:30 PM – Inter-Fraternity Council Meeting

For my first meeting of the day, I have a weekly meeting with the Inter-Fraternity Council, which is exactly what it sounds like. Representatives from all social fraternities meet to discuss business, philanthropy events, and recruitment ideas. It is a great opportunity to hear what other fraternities are doing right and to learn from each others’ mistakes along the way.

7:00 PM – The HOP Meeting

For meeting number two of the day, the HOP meets weekly at this time to discuss our past and future events. In case you are not familiar with the HOP, we are the campus’ largest programming board that helps to put on giveaways, events, concerts, and much more throughout the school year to keep the campus engaged. Our meeting consist of a lot of discussion about what we can do to improve past events and about planning our upcoming events.

9:00 PM – Phi Delta Theta Chapter Meeting

My last and final meeting of the day, Phi Delta Theta Chapter meeting. My Fraternity, Phi Delt, meets on a weekly basis to discuss business that the Chapter will be facilitating in the near future. We discuss recruitment, philanthropy, brotherhood and many more sectors of our Fraternity that are pivotal to creating a welcoming environment for our current brothers and our future members.

After my meetings and classes are done, I hold off on sleep for a while to get some final work and logistics taken care of, which usually puts me getting to bed by midnight. Mondays are rough, but they are a great way for me to kick my week off with being committed to so many different classes and meetings, and then facing the rest of my week with the same drive that got me through my Monday. But still, do not be surprised if you find me on campus sneaking in a nap between classes or meetings, or even eating on my way to class.

Thanks for listening to me talk about my Mondays, and allowing me to plan out my day!