October is always a particularly interesting time at Middlebury. The month brings a luscious autumn landscape in which the leaves display a spectrum of colors from deep gold to bright red. These seasonal changes are not limited to the trees however, as October brings a shift of mindset to the students as well. Perhaps the most readily apparent change can be summed up into one crucial word: midterms. Yes, the beautiful fall foliage also brings with it exams that will challenge your understanding of your courses and certainly heighten your stress levels. Not to worry though, as I will graciously provide my personal 7 steps to a productive midterm season:
1. Organize, Organize, And Organize. Plan out every day of midterm season down to when you anticipate procrastination or bathroom breaks
2. Ditch the coffee. Tea is a great alternative that won’t make you hit a crash in your library carousel.
3. APPLE CIDER. It’s October, enough said.
4. Print and then print some more. Reading on a computer screen will dull your eye vision quicker than that coffee will make you crash.
5. Study groups make it easy for me and you. Like driving in a car, pool your knowledge. It’ll make the test much easier to observe what you know.
6. Don’t stop ’till you write enough. Papers won’t write themselves. Write until you can’t write anymore. Better to get your ideas out even if it’s nothing more than a stream of askjksj ajkjkjs.
7. Breathe. Then breathe again. Plus drink some more cider.
These tips are a culmination of my personal exam experiences as well as ways in which I have learned to deal with stress over my four years. October is more than simply mid-term season however, as it allows brings two important events: Fall family weekend and Homecoming weekend. Each are significant times for you to share your Middlebury perspective with both parents and alumni. For me this is one of my favorite times of the year as you can stop outside of the somewhat monotonous bubble of school, dinner, homework, repeat. When the families visit each year not only are you provided with a sudden sense of homeliness and familiarity, but also a chance to gain perspective into the important people in your friend’s lives. Similarly, homecoming weekend brings a slew of alumni, all eager to reflect upon their time at Middlebury. I often use homecoming weekend to ask alumni “what would they have done differently” Along with networking, seeing how an alumnus would reevaluate their experiences provides an important moment of introspection for you as a current student. These are all crucial events that makes the month of October a time of seasonal and personal change. So remember, whenever you’re feeling stressed at the height of exam week, drink some cider.