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Midterm “Week” Actually Nine Calendar Months


Photo by Eric E. Castro via Flickr / CC 2.0 

It was a tragic day when I first uncovered the truth about midterm week. By now, all the freshmen have surely realized it, or at least begun to suspect. The reality, you see, is that midterm week does not span a mere seven days or a month, or hell, even a semester. In actuality, midterm season lasts for nine calendar months. 

At first, it doesn't seem true. It's September, and you have a few homeworks, maybe even some quizzes here and there. You read MIDTERM on the syllabus. You study, you take it, it's over. But, surprise! There's another one! And another! Will this academic nightmare ever end? 

The answer is no. Because if it's not a midterm you're taking, it’s a group project, a portfolio, a research symposium, or some other creative farce put forth by your professor. 

Even during the breaks, you catch yourself studying for Mom's dinner options. Meat loaf or pot roast? A or B? Sweat runs down your forehead as you wonder which answer will get you at least a 70 before the curve. 

To confirm my suspicion, I reached out to Penn's Provost Wendell Pritchett. He declined an interview, but kindly sent the following in response: 

"Here at the University of Pennsylvania, we have a little saying. How much sleep deprivation is too much? Lol." 

The light at the of the tunnel won't get here until May. You've still got about 200 days – give or take – of all-nighters, stress eating, and ugly crying. 

Sadly, for you pathetic little plebeian, tomorrow will not be a new day because tomorrow counts as the three day extension you asked for to finish your midterm.