With the amount of constant chatter surrounding them, you would think that “midterms” refers to an impending, earthbound, life-obliterating meteorite rather than a series of tests. While catching undergrads with their proverbial pants down is nothing new, midterms come at a time when many new students would rather be spending their evenings wearing no pants at all.
Much of the fear surrounding midterms comes from how these tests make up a significant portion of a final grade, the exact percentage values of which are often up to the professor’s discretion. Ideally, midterms should hit our newest Mounties in a way that pushes them to swim, but the tendency to sink is not so easily overcome.
First-year student Felix Chan spoke about how preparing for midterms takes up the majority of his time. “In one of my classes, I actually had to put off writing a paper which was due on the same day as the midterm,” Chan said. “I ended up having to hand in that paper a day late.”
Chan’s midterm preparation has since changed from a method of unstructured study to one that emphasizes time management. “For me, I have to balance my classwork time and my actual free time. I was pretty lucky, since my prof was really understanding.”
Upper-year students are generally better equipped to deal with the pressure by virtue of already having experienced this intense period. Second-year student Nick Croft, for instance, has a simpler view on the tests: “Midterms are easy, if you study.” Unfortunately, it’s not always that straightforward.
The decision to either catch up on Shakespeare or keep up with the Joneses is not made easily or without consequence. Sackville nightlife hubs like Club P tend to rouse students from their desks, and those suffering from the resulting Irish flu can say goodbye to any chance of learning in the morning.
While various distractions – from exploring the depths of a new social landscape, to learning how to live on their own, to expressing newfound freedom through extensive Netflix binges – are key components to many students’ experiences at university, they are nonetheless understood as being detrimental to study.
Thankfully, there are safeguards set up to help the social scholar excel. Residence academic mentors, a helpful library staff and empathetic professors are only a few parts of Mt. A’s repertoire of student academic aid.
Counsellors are also available for overstressed students. They can be contact by email at [email protected] or in person on the ground floor of the Student Centre. They are also available for students who find themselves ignoring an increasing number of angry voicemails from