14 Tips for Acing Your Midterms, as Told by a Non-Procrastinating, Totally Responsible High School Senior

Dan Carlston

        Do you see freshmen tearing out their hair as they walk by in the halls? Are your friends collapsing from fatigue and nausea? Have you been experiencing neck stiffness after sitting at a desk all day long? If you answered ‘yes’ to any or all of these questions, call the local Pest Control Center immediately. The school is infested with ticks. Lord, have mercy on all of our souls. Or… it’s midterms season! Lord, have mercy on all of our souls. Here are fourteen pieces of advice that you should think about while you start studying for those big bad exams:

  1.     Make sure that you’re limbered up. Before you even think about opening up that AP US History textbook, engage in at least forty-five minutes of dynamic stretching. I highly recommend the Adho Mukha Svanasana yoga pose, which stretches your deltoids, hamstrings, and triceps. Nothing worse than pulling a hammy while you’re learning about the Sherman Antitrust Act!
  2.     Watch a couple of inspirational films on Netflix to motivate yourself. Sometimes you just need some extra motivation before you can dive into your Econ review. My personal favorite movie to watch before exams is Space Jam, the 100% factual sports documentary about basketball legend Michael Jordan. Other fun films that’ll get you excited about studying include The Hangover, Superbad, Anchorman, and 12 Years a Slave.
  3.     Pray for another snow day. There’s certainly no harm in trying with this one. Worst case scenario, you lose all faith in the existence of a higher being and radically change your worldview, creating an insurmountable rift with your family and friends. What could go wrong?
  4.     Get lots of sleep. Hahahahahahahahahahahaaaaaaaaa
  5.     Go for a swim. Like they always say, late January is the perfect time to go for a dip in the Susquehanna River on a Thursday evening! Why the Susquehanna, you ask? Well, not only is it one of the longest rivers in the United States, but the smallmouth bass that populate its waters are riddled with sores, lesions, and cancerous tumors. That’s gotta be a good thing, right?
  6.     Remember that the mitochondria is the powerhouse of the cell. If you’re gonna get any one fact out of high school, this is the one. Regardless of whether or not you take biology, if you write this fact on the front page of your exam, I can guarantee that you may or may not get a 100% on your test.
  7.     Think carefully about every humiliating thing you’ve ever done in your life.  That Psychology exam provides you with the perfect opportunity to mentally relive every embarrassing moment that’s ever happened in your entire life. Remember when you fell on your face in front of the whole cafeteria? Or when the teacher called on you and you weren’t paying attention, so your face got all red and everyone turned around and stared at you? Oh my God, that was sooo embarrassing. (P.S. – This one might just happen to you naturally… When it does, don’t fight it; just give in to your emotions. You’ll be crying tears of joy in no time!)
  8.     Stay busy. Try doing a puzzle! Everybody loves puzzles…
  9.  Make a flip book animation out of the corner of your textbook. Think about how exciting it is to get a used book in English class with a little animation of a ball bouncing up and down in the bottom right corner of the pages. Now think about introducing that same feeling of pure joy to the generations of kids that will use that book after you. Do the right thing.
  10.  Fantasize about the film “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.”  Ferris Bueller is the model of academic honesty and integrity. Every responsible high school student that is serious about studying should emulate Ferris Bueller as faithfully as possible. Ferris’s life lessons about the importance of education and academic rigor are treasures to the scholastic community, and you should treat them as such. In fact, don’t just fantasize about it: go ahead and pull Netflix back up!
  11.  Sit outside in your backyard and look up at the vast emptiness of space. After you’ve done a couple practice tests, make sure you find some time to head out to your backyard, lie down, and contemplate the total insignificance of your daily life in the grand scheme of the universe. Don’t you wish you had spent less time studying? (P.S. – As a bonus, you can pretend like the airplanes in the night sky are like shooting stars. You could really use a wish right now, wish right now, wish right now.)
  12.  Don’t write a Radnorite article instead of studying for your exams. Haha, I’ve been there!
  13.  TURN OFF YOUR PHONE. This is the most important tip of all. You know that the phone is going to be a distraction, so just turn it off, and put it away. I know it’s hard, but you’ll appreciate your self-control when you’re taking your exams. That’s right. Just unlock it, put in your password, and hold down the power button… Wait, just check your Facebook first. Like really quick. You got a notification, it could be something really important –    

14.  Wake up at 11:30AM. Oops.