The Herd

Examination Nation

David Behrens

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Midterms, kids! They’re coming up!

Now I know what you freshmen are thinking: Oh man, I gotta put in 30 hours 
for each of my CP classes and then complain to everyone who 
will listen about my one Honors class! (Stuffs 60 pounds of bricks into backpack).

The good news is that if you study hard, I’m sure that I’ll
do well (your results may vary). But how does one deal with the
stress of a holiday followed by 4 half-days? Meth helps, but
will start killing your body and mind, and therefore is more of
a last resort. There are some tips that I find particularly
helpful (BREAKING NEWS: A Rampage article about study tips) in
preparing for your exams.
     ‘Be prepared’, as the Boy Scouts say (This motto is second
only to ‘Dad, did you finish my Merit Badge project yet?’).
There are lots of ways to make sure you have confidence and self-
assurance going into your exams, right up until the moment that
you read the words “Honors Biology Midterm Examination” and your
mind crashes like a 1990s iMac. Start by studying. You have all
weekend to cram, and I’ve found that the free time poses a great
opportunity to write Rampage articles and neglect the field of
Physics. So organize your notes, sit yourself down, fire up that
XBox, and get to work. If you need other outlets for studying,
I’d recommend the NHS Study-A-Thon, which provides 3 hours’
worth of substantially useful study help at the very least
desirable time for EVERY student. That said, you should totes go.
     Midterm Week is a lot like Barack Obama’s presidency. It’s
basically one big vacation, only more stressful because
everyone’s yelling at you to do some work (never fear, you can
find someone to blame when you fail). So how should you manage
your time this week (assuming it’s too cold/expensive to golf at
Martha’s Vineyard)?
     Sleep! Seriously, you can. My schedule on Tuesday, for
example, starts by waking up at 10AM, taking a nap, going to my
Wind Ensemble Midterm at 11, finishing it at 11:15, sleeping
until 12:30, driving home, and taking approximately 12 naps in
direct succession. I have so much spare time that I don’t have
to resort to sleeping WHILE driving any more! (That’s a joke,
Officer Carney, I promise.)
Eat. I’m not talking about ‘Hey, look, I have half a head
of lettuce and some Ranch, whoopee, a salad,’ kind of eating.
Your primary purpose in LIFE this week is to alleviate stress,
and what better way to do so than by storming Buffalo Wild Wings
like a castle? No matter what you choose, comfort food is going
to get you through that History paper much more effectively than
starving and trying to convince yourself that it makes you a
better person. So defrost that pizza, have some Fried Butter as
an appetizer, and study until your left arm goes numb.
     Keep studying. If you procrastinate and cram at the last
minute, you’ll only retain enough information to ace your exam
in a subject you’ll never use, then forget most of it. But if
you CONSTANTLY study, you have a great opportunity to forgo all
that fun for the sake of meaningful, hard work! So it’s a no-
brainer.
     Midterm week is definitely a big stepping stone in the high
school experience, but remember, there is still half a year
ahead of us, known as ‘the time when school actually gets
somewhat hard.’ You know that week or two at the beginning of
the quarter, when you aren’t afraid to check your grades? Make
it last all year. Then you can be a lot more comfortable
lounging with your friends (or in my case, calculators) and
studying for Finals.
AUTHOR’S NOTE: Why did this article not come out until Tuesday
night? Well, I procrastinated, in addition to following my own
advice above. Besides, it’s hard to get motivated about students
reading and enjoying a column when our web traffic seems much
more densely oriented towards the Kennebunk Moms. Anyway, have a
great day, ladies! I’m taking a nap.
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