Get your head in the game: Why midterm season is just like a sports season

A drawing of a newspaper, a notebook, and a pencil on a light orange surface.
Hannah Cooper/File

Midterm season is upon us once again. It comes along every semester, and it can sometimes feel as if it lasts for the entire semester. It isn’t all about taking large and important tests for your classes though. It’s a period of high emotions, stressful events and seeing whether or not your practice will pay off. This is also a good description of being on a sports team during its season. Here are some of the other ways that midterm season and sports seasons are alike.

You want to get the most points

Most games are similar to exams: The more points you get, the better you do. In some games, there are different amounts of points for the different things you can do, much like how some midterm questions are worth only a few points, while others are worth a ton. Curved classes can even make it seem like there’s a competition between students to see who gets the most points. All of this can make each test feel like a single game, with the exams making up a season altogether.

Doing poorly will make things more stressful later

If you do poorly on a test, you’ll have to work harder to pass the next ones to make sure you don’t fail. When a team loses a match, it’ll probably have to win the next ones if the players still want to do well in the league. In both cases, it puts pressure on the later event. It can be stressful to have to do well on a test, knowing that you’ll fail a course otherwise. In the same vein, it can be stressful to have to win your next game.

On the day of, everyone is interested in strategy

When watching a game, it’s as if almost everyone has become an expert strategist who has to share their opinion on what the coach or the players are doing wrong; the day of a midterm can be pretty similar. In the room before the test, you’ll hear people talk about all the studying they did (or didn’t) do. They may not judge others, but they still feel the need to share their personal strategy for how to do well on the test.

That finished, or scored on the buzzer, feeling

There’s an adrenaline rush that comes with trying to finish a question right as the test is about to end. It’s the same type of rush that comes from trying to score a point right before the buzzer sounds. In both cases, the person is trying to get just a few more points. If they succeed, in either case, there’ll be a wave of relief. It’s a pretty amazing feeling to know you made it and got that last couple of points.

Things go better if you work with your team

It’s easier to study if you do it with a group of people. You can bounce concepts off of people, ask for clarifications or at least create an atmosphere of work that’ll make you less likely to go watch Netflix. Similarly, a good sports team comprises players who work together to make each player, and the whole team, better. That way, they can all be successful. Studying in a group may have the same effect. It should make everyone there more successful than if they tried to do everything on their own.

Good luck on your midterms! May you get to the championship (finals) and win without breaking a sweat. Remember, if your tests are challenging, there’s always next season.

Contact Zachariah Nash at [email protected] .