Advice from a senior: Get ready for midterms now


Kernel Opinion SIG

Kellsie Kennedy

It seems like we just barely started the semester, but take it from a senior: Now is the best time to start studying for midterms. 

One of the most important things I have learned in college is to not procrastinate. Maybe I take this too far, turning in my assignments a week early with a Hermione Granger flourish. Maybe it is just me relishing in the homework assigned by a major that finally suits me. I know that few of my friends share this excitement. I also know few of them share my lack of anxiety concerning my classes (do not think I have the rest of my life in order… just school).

In fact (get ready for it), you should start studying for your midterms on the first day of class. College does not have to be as hard as we make it. How many of us sit in class with our phone in hand? How many of us actually follow what our professor is saying? Take notes? Not just the ones that we copy word for empty word from the PowerPoint, but really applying what the teacher is saying to our lives.

If you think of college as a chore instead of an opportunity, it makes it difficult to pay attention in class. If you do not pay attention in class, how are you supposed to take your midterm without an overwhelming amount of stress?

We tell ourselves that we can just read along from the textbook, right? I was a civil engineering major when I first started college. I also (like you do as a freshman) skipped Physics I for three months because I thought I could teach myself. It turned out okay, but not without an amount of stress that far outweighed the effort it would have taken to get up at noon and walk to Chem-Phys. 

Now, as a senior English major, I understand that you come to class to hear viewpoints that differ from your own. Everyone reads literature in different ways and you only understand that if you come to class. Only then can you have complete understanding over the material and have a solid chance of doing well on the midterm and in the class as a whole.

Besides enjoying your major and coming to class, you need to be organized. Get a five-dollar agenda and actually use it. You should go ahead and look up when and where your midterms are so you are relaxed the day of the exam. Doing this ensures that the date of the exam is in your mind. That way you can book appointments at the Study or the Writing Center before all the slots are full.

College costs a lot of money and time. No matter if you are paying for college with scholarships, with help from your parents or from student loans, there’s a high cost to your opportunity to attend a space with 30,000-plus different viewpoints. Turn off Netflix and put down your phone. Start studying for your midterms now and save yourself the stress later.