OPINION: Ned’s declassified midterm survival guide

Congratulations, you played yourself and now you need to survive the midterms. After choosing to do things better than studying, you are now at risk of making that very expensive class into a very expensive F.

Not everyone has midterms, and if you count yourself among the lucky few, then go on your merry way as the rest of us anxiousnly cram math, science, and history. However, if you have procrastinated, there’s still a chance of surviving midterm season with these five steps of studying.


Procrastination is the easiest and most foolish of steps when preparing for a heavily weighted test, but it is so satisfying knowing you’re doing something you shouldn’t.

But just because procrastination often creates problems — like the one you’re currently in — doesn’t mean that its entirely bad. It has been long recorded that taking breaks during studying is beneficial, and you’re going to need them as you enter the next stage of midterm survival — anger.


You’re probably angry at yourself now that you have, if you’re lucky, less than a week to study before your midterms. Anger is good because that’s what will sustain you while you’re cramming for a math midterm. Be angry at yourself and at the system that is making you stress about tests that aren’t finals butget treated like they are.

Rage against everything that put you into this studying frenzy, because for the next week, you can kiss your social life and hobbies goodbye. And if you do poorly on the midterm, forget about anything fun for the rest of the semester as you study hard enough to possibly escape your finals with a C in the class.


After your anger subsides, you’ll begin to realize there are alternative methods to surviving midterms.

These methods vary, and it’s possible you’ll go through your own mental list until you decide on the method that works best for you.

My own list has a few great ideas that I keep in my pocket in case of midterm emergencies. Most of these are bad ideas, but if you’re ever desperate enough, they may be a last resort.

You can spend your time devising jokes and memes, hoping your instructor has a sensible chuckle and gives you a passing grade. You can lurk around the chemistry department for that drug Bradley Cooper took in “Limitless.” You can gather a few sacrifices and make a pact with the deity of your choice for the Power Cosmic.

You can search for a genie’s lamp — the Robin Williams kind or the Will Smith kind. No need to be choosy. Finally, you can always go to your instructor and cry, because that will work as well as any other dumb idea you or I could come up with.


After a lengthy five hours of bargaining and procrastination — oh, you thought you were done procrastinating? — look at your current grade and it will tell you everything you need to know.

Your A will soon become a B or a C.

Panic sets in because you’ve already done all the other steps. You’re still procrastinating, your anger is gone, and that genie started campaigning for Kansas’s 2022 midterm elections.

It looks like it’s time to close your blinds, put on My Chemical Romance, try not to cry, and then cry a lot.


Pull yourself together. This isn’t the time for crying — also, that’s just more procrastinating. It’s time to face reality.

You can study and cram a little bit each night before your midterm and you’ll probably be okay. Midterms aren’t there to break your grade. They’re meant to be a checkup on how you’re doing in the class, and if you’re not doing well, talk with your instructor or drop the class with a W — the last day to drop without an F is April 3.

There’s no reason you should be panicking over a midterm. Just accept whatever grade you receive and get working to turn it around for the final. No matter what, a C is still passing.