Editorial: Midterms Are Fun


It seems like the maple leaves that grow on the sides of buildings have skipped a couple shades of yellow and orange and turned into a bright crimson. Actually I’m not sure if maple leaves count as maple if they grow on vines instead of a tree, but they’re Canadian, so I assume they must be.
I’m in a particularly good mood today, because tonight I have my first midterm exam of the semester on Solid State Physics. I’ve been anxiously waiting for midterms – my favourite times of the year – and they’re finally here!
Midterms season is great. I just love the atmosphere on campus during this time of the year. It has a pressure of about 1 atmospheric pressure, and is usually cold and smells clean with none of that sickening fresh-cut grass smell. Students become more prone to choosing pre-made food from campus food suppliers over cooking for themselves, and places such as CoGro and the Tea Room often would have sales on overly-caffeinated drinks. Midterms are truly a blessing for the food economy on campus.
Most importantly, I love studying. I mean, that’s what we’re here for right? Not to go get drunk and party with alumni during #hoco2014, not to make friends and fall in love in the beautiful limestone city, not even to get a more or less useless degree, but to experience the wonderfully pleasant and fulfilling process of studying.
Last week, out of utter panic and depression, I forfeited the writing of three of my project reports and opted for studying for a midterm instead. It’s so much easier; you don’t have to be creative! All I had to do was to copy some words and equations from my professor’s 100 page notes into my own 2 page notes. I didn’t have to think about anything or understand anything; notes just flowed onto my paper as proof that I’ve indeed learned some shit over the past six weeks.
This is also one of the few times in university where people won’t dictate over what font, colour, paper size, and margin I have to use for my written school work. In fact, using fancy coloured pens is actually encouraged as a way of “colour coding” my notes!
Pro tip: if you’re writing out notes for a math or physics class and you want to write all of equations in green pen, you better have a fucking lot of green pens. Running out of green ink in the middle of your page of notes is just depressing.
The best part about midterms is obviously writing them. It’s just such an efficient way of acquiring marks! If on average I spend 6 hours on an assignment that is worth 5% of my grade for this class, writing an exam in 2 hours and getting 40% of my grade has such a high cost/benefit efficiency. I like efficiency.
Anyway, I usually spend my day before a midterm talking about how much I fucking love midterms. That way, my classmates who have been feeling not as confident about it would get the illusion that I’m actually prepared for the midterm while they aren’t. Then if they freak out and lose their confidence and sabotage their performance, I can just ride the bell-curve to get a better mark. And if I turn out to fail the exam in the evening, at least I had a day’s worth of real-or-pretend happiness before I lock myself in my bedroom and cry to my teddy bear. I hate midterms.