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
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.