Midterm Mantra

Quick disclaimer:  I am so very guilty of everything I am about to point out.  I skip my relaxing classes to work on papers and then end up watching Sister Wives on Netflix.  I complain endlessly about the amount I have to do.  I take pride in going to what's considered the most rigorous college.  I fall prey to it all, and I hate myself for it.

We are basically in the heart of midterm season, in the eye of the storm where things next week will calm down to the point that we allow ourselves to fall a bit behind on work "because we deserve it."  And then we will realize the following week that the calm was just a tease-- midterms are back and now we're already behind.

It's rough, and it's rough no matter what school you go to or what you study.  Midterms are meant to challenge not only your mastery of the material, but also your emotional fortitude because, as we all know, midterms might be bad but finals are worse.  

Midterms, finals and even classes in general are stressful for everyone.  We complain one minute about how this amount of work is impossible and how we are becoming zombies from only 3 hours of sleep a night.  In the next breath, however, we are bragging about the lack of sleep and how many pages of reading or problem sets we have to finish before we can go to sleep that night.  It's a cruel cycle that isn't good for anyone.  We both hate and envy the person who gets enough sleep every night and gets their work done.  

I think it's totally fair to feel stressed.  It's totally fair to take pride in how much work we do.  But it's not fair to put our health at risk because of the two pages more we could write in the hour spent running.  

But even more than that, it's not fair to complain that the work is too much and that we don't want to do it (I say as I procrastinate reading The Prince).  For as long as we can remember, college was the goal.  We spent the four years of high school working incredibly hard to get into college.  We begged and pleaded to be able to do this work and learn from our professors.  

But we forget that, and now when the work gets hard, we lose sight of what we saw college to be when we were young and naive.  The amount of work obscures the fact that now we have four years to read and discuss the foundations of literature and philosophy.  We have four years to learn math and sciences that took those before us thousands of years to understand.  These are four years that we gave everything we could, so that we could spend this time just learning without any other expectations.  Yeah, the work is hard, but we wanted this.  Yeah we hate college, but we are so lucky to be here.  Why complain and not make the most of it?

At least that is what I try to remind myself as much as possible.    


  1. Awesome post! Love the last bit about being lucky to be in school. It's so true!


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Meet The Author

I'm Madysen, born and raised in Nebraska but now living out my dreams in New York City. I moved here to go to Columbia, but living in New York has become so much more to me. This blog is a space where I can share my experiences of reconciling my midwestern upbringing with the life I live in the city. But even bigger than that, this blog serves as a space where I can try to understand where I fit into the larger social world, where I want to go in life, and how I want to go about pursuing all of these endeavors.

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