Incidental Amusements

It’s not unusual to see overtired or overcaffeinated students frantically writing papers, reviewing flashcards or reading over PowerPoints at this time of year. Maybe you’ll even see someone yelling at their friends because they asked, “How are you doing?” Now these people aren’t doing this for their health; my friends, midterms are upon us.

While midterm literally means the middle of the term, I think it is safe to proclaim that October is midterm month or “the month from Hell.” My friends at other colleges have just one week when they have to worry about their imminent failure and stress, but Geneseo so kindly decided to give us one whole month of sleepless nights to worry about these tests and papers that decide the fate of our oh-so-precious GPAs.

Why are we so stressed about these tests anyway? How professors calculated that we should be studying two to three hours for every hour spent in class is beyond my mathematical expertise. But there just aren’t enough hours in the day if you want to study for all five of your classes, participate in “activities” on the weekends and even get a somewhat decent night’s sleep.

Let’s not forget about the audacity that professors have to even make us remember all the way back to what we discussed in class on the first day of the course in August. If they wanted us to remember back to that insignificant day, they should just repeat themselves every single day until the midterm to make it stick in our brains.

If you failed your midterm or paper, there are a few possibilities that factor into this unfortunate outcome, but none of them are your fault.

One of the reasons you failed might be because, quite simply, your professor didn’t teach the material that was on the midterm. Maybe they went on too many tangents or screwed you over by adding the miniscule details in the textbook that you weren’t supposed to read but regardless neglected to enlighten you with the riveting test material.

If you failed a paper, it’s probably because your professor didn’t like your thesis, didn’t agree with it or didn’t give you enough time to write the paper; when professors grade papers, they obviously only grade subjectively rather than objectively. They clearly just love to use their pens to mark up your paper and tell you how much you don’t know compared to their omnipotent knowledge.

Let’s face it, my fellow peers: We just can’t succeed in the month of October. No matter how many hours we spend in the library or how many people read over our paper, we are just set up for failure, and there’s nothing we can do about it; it’s simply out of our control. I wish I could do more to give you advice, but I’m out of words. The only thing I can say is, “May the odds be ever in your favor.”