“Aava, we are young and independent women. We don’t need no man to help us with CompSci!” Retorted my friend at lab one evening. I wish I could share the same enthusiasm as my lab partner but I was utterly exhausted. To make matters worse, my Comp11 instructor, who happens to be a genuinely nice and welcoming man, was standing right behind me when that empowering speech was delivered, followed by me slamming my head against the keyboard. If that scenario doesn’t qualify as positively mortifying, I also happened to fall asleep during an a capella concert and almost boarded the wrong red line train to Braintree, despite having taken that route a dozen times before.
The above scenarios accurately depict my state of affairs when midterms hit. I love Tufts, but having to prepare for four exams and a daunting CompSci homework assignment can start to take a toll on your mental stability. You can’t help but get depressed over the fact that everything seemed so perfect and serene before midterms week commenced. With only have twenty-four hours at your disposal, reading over 200 pages, solving practice test problems and scraping some sleep to consolidate everything you’ve voraciously devoured up to that moment can seem quite daunting. Stress levels hit the ceiling and time constraint becomes an issue, especially if you’re a person like me, who likes to schedule her life around naps.
I’ll admit that it’s hard to see the silver lining during this period, when your days keep getting exponentially worse and you wound up questioning every life decision you’ve taken thus far. I usually like to waste inordinate amounts of time on one of the few solitary locations on campus for catharsis purposes, the roof of Tisch Library. Ideally speaking, however, Tisch roof probably isn’t the place to be at this time of the year considering the potential threat of dying from pneumonia.
As far as personal experiences go, I feel that it really helps to lean back on the people whom you share the most meaningful relationships. When the exam period is stretched over two weeks, weekends practically become non- existent and a Saturday night feels no different from a Tuesday night. Life becomes much more tolerable when you share your miseries with your friends, because they're the family we choose. This week, I switched to full procrastination mode and watched the latest season of The Bachelor with my friends. Melting into a warm cuddle puddle and watching the life struggle of a man, pressured to choose an ideal wife from a pool of 20 women on national television can make your personal hardships seem almost infinitesimal (for the duration of the show, anyway).
At times like these, you just have to take a deep breath and wait for the storm to subside. It helps to make a plan and work towards a goal by putting one foot in front of the other, and getting through each day at a time. And sometimes, if you’re lucky, a sincere, “You will get through this! I believe in you!” followed by a fleeting hug before frantically rushing to class to take a midterm is all it will take to brighten your day.