A Snap Back to Reality: Midterms

Photo Courtesy of SXC

Photo Courtesy of SXC

By Kelsey Landauer ’11
Staff Writer

Photo Courtesy of SXC

The purpose of the December break is to provide a period of time for students to be able to travel, or host family members for holiday celebrations without the distraction of schoolwork and the perpetual stress that school induces.

With the vacation time falling at the end of the second quarter, midterms begin around the corner on January 14. With such a big impact on first semester grades, it is debatable whether students are truly able to relax and not think about school during the two weeks off.

If a teacher posts a midterm study guide on Blackboard over the break, the student is left with the crucial choice to acknowledge it and get a head start on his or her studies, or to take complete advantage of the vacation and put the books to rest.

Most students make their minds up about studying over the break before the highly anticipated half day.

“I study the week after break because it’s supposed to be a break from my studies,” said Eliza Duvall ’12. In total, students have ten days before exams start after returning to school on Monday, January 4.

For some students, ten days doesn’t cut it. They prefer to dedicate a few hours of their vacation time towards their studies.

“I’m not as stressed during the break,” said Lexi Paul ’12. She believes that it is an ideal time to study.

With almost two weeks off from school, other students like to free their minds of all academia. These students feel that there should be more time for review, and less time learning last minute material right before the exam. “I forget everything over the break,” said Chloe Baker ’13.

The two weeks leading up to midterms are certainly not down time, nor relaxed. Students, especially those with challenging classes, may immediately start feeling that familiar stress as soon as the break ends.

Therefore, the vacation is their only opportunity to focus on studying for midterms without the distraction of additional tests and papers. “I study over the break, because otherwise I’m not going to have the time,” said Sydney Tagen ’12.

Although most teachers are required to give a midterm exam, they do not individually decide when the exams take place. They are not in control of whether or not the student has an adequate amount of time study for the exam.

Although some students are unaware of how much work teachers do, teachers need a break too. Some teachers are overwhelmed with the amount of work it takes to create a midterm exam, and try to relax as much as possible over the break.

“I know I do very little work over vacations because I know I need a mental vacation every once in a while. So if that is the expectation I have for myself, I do not feel I can expect any different from my students,” said Math teacher Rebecca Stern.

Whether students decide to study over the break or not was a personal decision this past December. Now, with a little over a week until midterms students have no choice but to buckle down and crack open the books. Although students have control over when they commence their studies, the outcome is unpredictable. Welcome back, and good luck!