How to Survive Midterms Week (barely)

You can do this. It's almost over.

It’s 7 pm. You’re on campus. You’ve suffered through 2 midterms today and you don’t want to spare a second to consider how you fared on them. Tomorrow there will be one more – one you are not prepared for.

It’s time to cram.

Everyone has somehow found themselves in this position, unable to fathom the amount of work before them and unable to deal with the pressure of the looming mid term in less than 24 hours. The library is full – literally – the computers are all taken; there are people sleeping across desks, Red Bull cans littered across the floor near the trash.

Don’t get frustrated. Don’t have your laptop and need a computer? Go to the circulation desk – on the left hand side you’ll find a few (albeit ancient) laptops you can borrow, and they will even lend you headphones. Just make sure you bring your ID.

The last copy of Francesco’s Molecular Biology has been snatched from the reserves from the weary girl swaying on her feet in front of you and you are left to wonder how exactly you can cram 6 week’s worth of detailed information about cell division into your head without the textbook.

On the library one search, type in the name of your elusive textbook and narrow the search results to “full text online”. Amazingly, there it is, and you can even highlight the PDF! Sorcery. (You may need to enter the code on the back of your ID to do this.)

Armed with your 3kg textbook and shiny new notebook you bought yesterday with the intent to fill with pretty and tidy notes, you find a place to sit and open it up. Obviously, nothing from the textbook makes sense, and you were too busy celebrating 6th of October and the one-man-match to attend lectures and take notes. You send a hasty email to your class and receive a lone reply from the TA berating you for not attending in the first place and refusing to help under any circumstances because, in no uncertain terms, you deserve this. Thankfully, you are not alone, and the SU and PAL have got you covered. Follow these links and to access a neat and well-organised online library full of notes for pretty much every single class imaginable, even your weird ARIC course on the Ottoman empire that everyone warned you not to take. Send a prayer of thanks to the Student Union and the PAL team and get reading.  

Though sitting in a dark and dusty corner in between shelves of archives on the ground floor surrounded by crumpled notes and a heavy textbook may be a possibility for some of us, those of us who require peace and quiet may need a different environment. For this, I recommend the rooftops.

Unknown to many students, the rooftops are usually accessible for most of the day on most of the buildings. For the view, go to HUSS, and enjoy the cool breeze. If you want to ensure no one will disturb you, go up the stairs behind Cilantro next to The Catering Co – on the roof, you’ll find an orange cube standing solitary (there’s always chairs up there, too).

If you find yourself panicking and unable to study, you might just need a few moments of serenity. Best seen at night, venture towards the dorms through the gardens. Follow the sound of running water, and you’ll eventually come across a quaint and pretty waterfall – perfect for contemplating how it is exactly we got ourselves into this procrastination-fueled situation reeking of desperation and last ditch attempts to save our GPA.

At this point it’s nearing 10:30, and you’ve never willingly stayed on campus for this long. Your body is betraying you and a single tear slips from the corner of your eye while you yawn heavily and resist letting your eyelids fall. The outlets are all closed, even Quick has given up on you and your reliance on their scalding machine Nescafe – the OSE provides a worthy alternative.

Above the food court, hidden unbeknownst to most students, is a lounge filled with comfortable bean bags, aesthetically pleasing chairs from the prettiest lengths of Ikea, and most importantly, coffee – served with cookies and sandwiches, of course. The best part, you ask? Well, it’s free. Yes. There is nothing AUCians (ironically) love more than free things. Go and claim your cookies and refreshments while you remain upright!

It’s past midnight and you’ve reluctantly given up on cramming due to the near-implosive state of your brain. You told your parents earlier that you’d be studying all night long, and despite the seemingly fake looks of disapproval they gave you, they’re happy you’re studying and to go home now is for quitters. I can lead you to solace; enter the SSE from the plaza and take the first right into Medhat Haroun hall. In each corner you’ll find conveniently placed sockets to charge your devices and comfortable places to “nap”. If you find a group of homeless-looking engineering students occupying the space, venture the long walk across campus to the PVA building – our artsy colleagues have a comfortable common room filled with bean bags and pillows where you can enjoy the peace and quiet and occasional grunt of a visual arts student trying to finish their submissions at the last minute.

If we have failed you, or if you have failed, here is the link for the course repeat form and here is the link for the course drop form (if the deadline hasn’t already left you in the dust) .

Happy cramming,

The Insider AUC