Midterms: the do-or-die season for those who are cogs in the academic system.
Midterms are also the time in which you come to terms with whether you’re a slacker or a book stacker.
Do you faithfully check your emails for new assignments from your teachers? Do you show up to community services events that your teachers provide as extra credit opportunities?
Do you turn your assignments in on time? Do you complete your assignments?
If you answered "barely" to any of these questions, you, my friend, are a struggling student.
There are two classifications of struggling students: those who suffer from the most aggressive strain of procrastination, and those who are diagnosed with I-could-care-less-itis.
We’ll focus more on those students struggling with procrastination.
It goes without saying these students prefer to live their academic lives on the edge.
If there’s a homework sheet due on October 15 by 5 pm, they’ll more than likely start the assignment on October 15 at 4:22 pm.
Whether you can identify or not, it’s hard out here for a student, especially for the ones who are always struggling.
If you can relate, you have probably whispered any number of these quiet invocations during midterms:
1. “Please round up.”
Everyone remembers when he or she learned how to round numbers in third grade.
Unfortunately, professors must have conveniently skipped over that pivotal year of arithmetic during their formal education years.
Is it really such a matter of morality that you round a 69.8 to a solid 70, so I can forever be done with your class?
I’m sure you wouldn’t want me to grace your classroom again next semester either.
2. “Please don’t let the professor show up to class.”
There’s almost nothing better than arriving to class tardy with a half-finished assignment, only to find out the professor has still not shown up 10 minutes after your arrival.
While the suspense can be unbearable, the ultimate result of the professor’s absence and the subsequent reunion with your bed is well worth it.
An additional bonus is the unexpected second chance you get to actually complete the assignment.
3. “Please let the professor accept this late.”
Yes, I understand you, as a professor, have “strict” deadlines for assignments.
I, however, don’t believe you should fault me for having missed the deadline because I was binge-watching "How To Get Away With Murder" last night.
Should you need an excuse letter for my assignment tardiness, I can provide you with Netflix’s customer service number. Hopefully, someone can put you in contact with the CEO.
4. “Please don’t call on me.”
There is a reason I chose the only seat buried deep within the corners of the classroom and enshrouded in darkness.
My reason certainly wasn’t to answer questions about the assigned chapter I clearly didn’t read last night.
Still, you, the professor, make it your mission to continually select me out of the other 29 students in the class.
Are you mental, or do you just like to see a struggling student flustered?
5. “Please don’t give a pop quiz.”
Pop quizzes are the absolute worst for two reasons: 1) They pop up so unexpectedly, when you’re the least bit prepared, and 2) They often only focus on the minute details of the assigned chapter.
There’s nothing worse than reading an entire 30-page chapter on the American Revolution, and all 10 questions on the pop quiz focus on the one sentence that mentioned who the king of England was at the time.
6. “Please let the answers be online.”
The Internet has made life incredibly easier.
For the struggling student, there awaits a world wide web full of possibilities, such as an exact replica of homework, exam questions and answers.
Now, some would discourage such “immoral” behavior from students.
However, the real travesty in this situation would be the professor’s lackluster regard for his or her career. They should be ashamed of Googling the class’ entire exam.
7. “Please let this exam be multiple choice.”
There’s just something about multiple-choice exams that scream “success” to the struggling student.
There’s comfort in knowing that not only do I have a 25 percent chance of answering the question correctly, but there is a 100 percent chance the correct answer is within the four multiple choices presented to me.