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To acquire wisdom, one must observe

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Surviving midterm season with Mia

Like most people, I haven’t taken an in-person exam since freshman year (two years ago now). This has increased my test-taking anxiety tenfold this midterm season despite the fact that I have only actually had one midterm exam out of my four classes… 

As a social sciences or humanities major one exam is still a big deal! My world is full of papers and reading responses, so exams feel like I’m trying to write in another language. It just doesn’t compute. I am literally taking a class with no exams and no papers; my life is such a walk in the park that a single three-question exam can uproot my entire week. But since I am such a natural expert in the topic of surviving the unsurvivable, I feel qualified enough to give everyone tips on how not to hate their lives so much during midterms. 

  • Don’t be a STEM major

This one is pretty obvious, just don’t do that to yourself. We know you’re super smart and better than everyone else already, why be a bio major to prove it? Obviously I’m kidding. But if you really don’t want to be drowning in exams every October, consider doing maybe psych? Then you can use your mental illness to your advantage! 

  • Start early

This is also really obvious but it’s something people rarely follow, including myself. If you have a flurry of tests and papers due in a singular week, start them all at least a week or two prior. Space yourself out. If you start one thing super early, you won’t have to worry about doing everything all at once or at the last minute. This is crucial for papers in particular. I like to start outlining and collecting information for my papers at least a week in advance, this means I can give myself adequate time to mess up in my planning process so when it comes time to write I am fully prepared. Also, this method is great when you know you will spend a few days completely ignoring your assignment: it factors those moments in. 

  • Intimidate everyone 

When people are reviewing for the exam, just sit there in silence confidently. Stare straight ahead, talk to no one, do not blink or move. If there is a curve, use fear to your advantage. If you say anything, make it “why are you guys even studying? Do you not know this already?” Say it genuinely, be a terrifying asshole and fake them out with your faux confidence. This step includes the professor. Do not go to office hours, do not ask questions. Correct their lectures and email them grades. 

  • Cry in public

This is just a general tip. Don’t make your room a space of sadness, so just cry in public. We have all been there, and I doubt anyone will bother you if you’re loudly sobbing in the library. This could actually help make you friends if you find someone else who is also crying in public. Actually, save your tears for when you’re waiting for food from Upper. Maybe that will make the workers pity you more and your food will get done faster—if you try this let me know if it works! 

  • Only eat mac ‘n cheese

Treat yourself during exams! Only feed your body what brings you joy, and obviously that is mac ‘n cheese. So, only eat mac ‘n cheese. Balanced meals are so September. Also, don’t drink water. Why consume any liquid that isn’t caffeine? 

  • Forget about everyone you love

Don’t worry about normal earthly problems. It is midterm season, you are above the need for friends and family—you need a 4.0! Stop talking to your roommate, break up with your significant other and change your phone number so no one can contact you. This is the only way you can efficiently study free from all distractions. You speak to no one, you are no one, you are nothing but a vessel of knowledge that you are going to eat up through studying and shit out into an exam booklet. 

  • Don’t be a STEM major

I really want to emphasize this. This is actually key to your success in college and in life; take it easy and major in literally anything else (except politics it sucks too). 

  • Hope law school admissions reps don’t read this

This isn’t really for you. I’m manifesting here.

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