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The view from inside Bata Library on a Fall evening as the sun sets on campus, and your dreams. Photo credit: Rishabh Joshi

How to Muddle Through Your Midterms

Written by
Madison Marvin
and
and
October 26, 2022
How to Muddle Through Your Midterms
The view from inside Bata Library on a Fall evening as the sun sets on campus, and your dreams. Photo credit: Rishabh Joshi

There is something golden in the air as I step outside. The wind is cool and gentle against my hot cheek, not quite the harsh howl of a winter’s chill. Leaves of cardamom red, burnished orange, and honeyed yellow paint a masterpiece that I feel I should not touch. Fallen leaves yield beneath my muddy boot, in a satisfying crunch of the midrib stem. I inhale a sharp intake of breath, the scent of wet earth hitting my nostrils. I look up into the grey-blue sky, and think to myself how the world looks like watered down paint—a little hazy in its glimmer. 

It’s Autumn, which means it’s time for hot apple cider, pumpkin carving, and midterms. Oh god, midterms. Returning from Reading Break having done absolutely no reading, I am not in any way prepared for my exams. However, here are some tips on how unlike me, you can be a good student!

Tip Number One: Be real: make a realistic schedule

Are you really going to spend over six hours at the library reading over your poorly-written notes? How many Starbucks lattes can you realistically drink in a day before you’re absolutely wired? By breaking down your study schedule into small, manageable chunks, you’re more likely to keep to that schedule and less likely to spend all your time on TikTok watching funny cat videos. As my Dad likes to say, “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.” Why one would eat an elephant when chocolate exists is beyond me. But the point still stands. When making your schedule, it’s also a good idea to write down everything you need to do on paper. Yes, paper. Seeing everything laid out on a physical copy makes it easier to conceptualize. Plus, it’s very satisfying to rip up when you’re all done. Or even burn. 

Tip Number Two: Take breaks - including bathroom breaks

It’s important to take a break in between following your perfectly-planned schedule and crying. Taking a break from studying gives your eyes a rest so as to not cause eye strain, and also gives your brain a rest from absorbing all that information you’re cramming into it. It’s like running a marathon (not that I’ve ever run one), but I imagine you need to have a time when you sprint, and a time when you just wander aimlessly, admiring the beautiful clouds. Oooh that one looks like failure! Wait, that's a mirror. Nevermind. 

Tip Number Three: Rewards: Who’s a good student? You are! Yes, you are!

Listen. You've been working hard. You deserve some ‘you’ time! Go for a walk, eat a cookie, pet a fuzzy animal, eat another cookie. What the heck, have a special cookie. One with chocolate chips, or icing sugar. Either way, remember to treat yourself. You’re using up a lot of brain power studying, so make sure to give yourself a pat on the back for powering through. Heh. See what I did there?

Tip Number Four: Friends are important, and not just the sitcom 

I believe that you don’t truly understand something until you can explain to someone who knows nothing about the topic. So, once you’ve had your fill of notes and flow charts, gather some friends or peers or a random person off the street, and try explaining to them whatever concept your professor wants you to regurgitate. Like a mama bird feeding her baby a partly-digested worm. Having someone to go over notes and ideas with can be really helpful, and makes the studying experience a little less lonely. Not that I’m lonely. I’m fine. Sitting here at my computer, writing about having friends. I’m good. Yeah. 

Tip Number Five: Bee kind to yourself, honey

So, you’re absolutely buzzing on that Venti Caramel Macchiato with double espresso, and you’re turning black and yellow from all that studying. I know it might sting, but you’ve gotta bee kind to yourself. Bee puns aside, basically what I’m saying is, don't be too hard on yourself. Yes, grades and studying and all that jazz are important (ya like jazz?). But you know what else is important? You! Remember that life exists outside of University—there’s a great big world out there, full of leaves, trees, bees, and knees. I don’t know. Anyways, just remember that at the end of the day, you are not your grades, or your courses, or your major. You’re you, you special little bee. So go—buzz off! And be happy knowing that at the end of the day, you did the best you could. But your best doesn’t mean pushing yourself past your limits. It means the best you can do, with the tools that you have, in the moment that you are in. 

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What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

How to customize formatting for each rich text

"Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system."
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