Midterm season advice from ‘Avatar: The Last Airbender’'s Uncle Iroh

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SEPTEMBER 28, 2017

It is one of life’s great mysteries that “midterm season” is a loosely defined time interval encompassing more than half of the actual semester. The M-word itself is imbued with a mystical quality; all that hear it feel a premonition of the ensuing onslaught. It is a scary time, but a wise man once said, “In the darkest times, hope is something you give yourself.” Uncle Iroh (everyone’s favorite tea shop owner from “Avatar: The Last Airbender”is an infinite source of wisdom, and we at the Clog are bringing you his best advice for surviving midterms.

“Sometimes life is like this dark tunnel. You can’t always see the light at the end of the tunnel, but if you just keep moving … you will come to a better place.”

After you get that first F (or for some of you, that first B), it will be easy to bemoan your existence and metaphorically shout into the void. Do not forget that midterms are just another tunnel through which we all must pass, but with a little bit of effort, you can find some hope … until finals come.

“While it is always good to believe in oneself, a little help from others can be a great blessing.”

No one can do it alone. UC Berkeley students are no exception. Do not be afraid to ask for help. Talk to a friend. Form a study group with a classmate. Call your mom. Remember all the people who love you — the people you need to make proud. It also helps to remember the people you have to prove wrong.

“Destiny is a funny thing. You never know how things are going to work out.”

Maybe it is a little too abstract to seem practical, but the advice that sounds like it belongs on a Hallmark card can often be the most comforting.

“Sharing tea with a fascinating stranger is one of life’s true delights.”

This does not mean you should go drink with a complete stranger, but striking up a conversation serendipitously can be a refreshing mind break. Find a nice place to have it — maybe Sharetea? Luckily, Berkeley doesn’t have a shortage of delicious tea joints. 

Good luck on midterms, Golden Bears, and remember that there are plenty of places to find support, even in a “kids’ cartoon.”

Contact Edrick Sabalburo at 


SEPTEMBER 27, 2017