Midterm season is coming in hot, and so is all the negativity and stress surrounding it. Obviously, midterms are stressful because we go to a highly ranked university where everyone is hard-working and cares a little too much about their school work. However, there are a lot of reasons to chill out. When things get too stressful and you just want to listen to sad songs about failing, try to remember a couple of things:
You are super smart. Don’t believe us? First, you got into Cal. That is no easy feat. Second, no matter what year you are, you’ve either done this before or will do it many more times, meaning you will learn from this experience. You’ll understand which study habits work, which all-nighters don’t work, etc. These first few midterms are just a small blimp on your college sky. Look at all the other cool stuff up there with the clouds of exams — there is that really cool teacher, your first apartment, that cute someone in your class and the A you are going to get.
You also have a ton of resources available to you. Most obviously, there is this thing called office hours. If you start to study and are confused by something, go ask your professor or GSI. It might sound like it goes without saying, but take advantage of it. GSIs and professors are there to help, even if it sometimes feels like they’re too busy.
There are also places like the Student Learning Center, where you can go for help on pretty much any subject. Other resources include the Educational Opportunity Program for first-generation and low-income students and the Athletic Study Center for student-athletes. Let’s not forget a huge resource you can take advantage of: classmates! Remember, the peers around you also got into UC Berkeley and are super smart. Ask people to study with you. Talking things through and teaching one another is exponentially more useful to you than staring at a textbook and wondering if it’s written in English.
Just remember that you work very hard and you know how to get things done. You wouldn’t have made it this far if you didn’t. Also remember to take care of yourself. Make sure you get some sleep and some food (love, Mom). You deserve those eight hours of sleep and that burrito. Plus, you might not believe it, but you’ll remember things a lot better if you get some rest.
Try to remember that you are doing just fine and will be fine no matter what happens — but what’s going to happen is that you will kill your midterms. You got this!
Contact Hailey Johnson at [email protected].