Now that midterms are over (well, sort of), I think it’ll help my self-esteem and your inquiring mind on how I survived them. First off, it’s important to understand that mid-terms mean different things depending on the program and which classes that you take. I had all papers and projects due for mid-terms, no exams. However, my roommate had an in-class mid-term where she was given two hours to write a paper based on the prompt she received. Same program, but it can look different for the courses you’re taking.

Here are the deets of my mid-term requirements:

Faculty & Academic Governance:

We were given a case-study of a fictional university (made up by the professor), and we had to write a policy memo to someone in the case study advising them on the governance issues at play at their university. We could take the role of an educational consultant, trustee, board member, faculty, etc.

Intercollegiate Athletics:

At the beginning of the semester we were each assigned a university where the athletics program is not quite a powerhouse, but they’re trying to get there. Or they’re really struggling and they’re trying to figure out how not to lose money. Our assignment was to start our report on the analysis of that institutions athletics department: history, financial spending, recruiting, success, leadership, etc.

College Environments:

By the third week of class, we were randomly paired in groups. As a group we had to decide a place on campus we wanted to audit. We had to make four separate visits to that place during slow and busy times, and we had to evaluate the physical environment, human aggregate environment (how others use the space), and the socially constructed environment. From there we had to prepare a 15-20 minute group presentation for class and also write a 15-20 page audit report as a group on that environment.

Law & Higher Ed:

This was not quite a mid-term but it was due around the same time. We had to pick a case (from our course pack) and write a case brief on it. (Our real mid-term will come first week of November, it’s a case study.

Psychoeducational Interactions with Black Males(Non-Higher Ed course is in the Human Development Division):

Our task was to interview a Black male from the ages of 6-25 and someone who has authority over Black males. We were given the freedom to analyze what we wanted between the two interviews. And what we had to turn in was an analysis of those interviews. I chose to analyze the ways that Black males are disciplined in school and how implicit bias impacts those decisions. Additionally, I related authority figures’ approach to disciplining young Black males to their disengagement in school.

Reading back over all of these assignments, I get excited that I got to do all of them. However, for these assignments, faculty & academic governance, college environments, law & higher ed, and my Black males course were all due in the same week. On top of that, I have a weekly paper due for my Black males course before every class. And I had a group presentation in the Athletics course...ALL IN THE SAME WEEK. If you add on my weekly paper also due for College Environments, I had 6 papers and 2 group projects due in 8 DAYS!!!

How did I survive?

I played to my strengths.I’ve known myself long enough to recognize that I am not a morning person and I’m most productive at night. So, instead of lying to myself and saying that I would wake up early, I would stay up later to get the work done. I’m also most productive on weekends. Instead of watching my alma mater struggle to win a football game, I did work all weekend.

I prioritized.There are certain things in my routine that are flexible, and certain things that aren’t. For example, when I work out, I feel really good about myself. So, during this time I prioritized maintaining my work out schedule as a part of my mental health. On the other side of that, when I don’t eat right, I feel bad about myself. So, instead of stuffing my face with the first thing I saw, I maintained my normal eating pattern.

I asked for an extension.I’m not that person that asks for an extension, but in order to maintain quality for my assignments, I needed an extension for one of my papers. The instructor was super supportive and the extra 24-hours helped with my mental health.

All of these things helped me to keep calm and maintain my composure throughout my “busy week” As I go forward and prepare for finals, I will take some of the same tools, while also starting earlier!