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The Carroll News

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Alissa at the apex: how are you, really?

Alissa Van Dress
Campus Editor Alissa Van Dress reflects on midterm season and suggests de-stressing mantras.

Balancing work with schoolwork is never more challenging than during midterms. It’s typically a turbulent point in the semester. Projects, exams and papers bombard your schedule and anxiety about midterm grades escalates.

John Carroll students are midway through the fall semester. I am midway through achieving my undergraduate degree. Yet, midterms still catch me off guard. So, why are midterms such a struggle?

For some reason, midterms—as opposed to finals—are the most stressful time for me during the semester. They just hit me as if I was never expecting it, despite the fact that they are planned from the first day of classes.

I mark them on my calendar right as I find out. I attend classes and ask questions regarding the midterms. Regardless, they are still hard to manage when they occur. It’s almost like no matter how much I prepare for them, they still take a toll on me.

As I walk past students engrossed in homework, I can sense their teetering thoughts. I have similar ones of my own:

How did I do on that last exam? Should I have studied? Will my midterm grades live up to my expectations? Will college be worth it?

How are you, really? That is the question that we should probably ask ourselves regularly. Though, it’s typically the question that I forget to ask myself because I get caught up in my readings, essays, articles, meetings, interviews, etc. because I am genuinely excited— so excited that I forget to ask myself how I am.

While these commitments keep me busy, I end up feeling discontent, perhaps because I am unable to give them my full attention. Maybe it’s time that I prioritize what’s important first, then the rest will come.

With all this said, I have created a midterm mantra: Breathe. You’ll get through this. You’re doing great. You’re only one person. Take care of yourself.

Midterms are not the be-all and end-all; midterms are a checkpoint to the finish line. Take each step at a time and the finish line will be near. In time, everything will come together.

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About the Contributor
Alissa Van Dress
Alissa Van Dress, Campus Editor
Alissa Van Dress is a junior English major from Amherst, Ohio. She has a concentration in professional writing with minors in business, creative writing and Spanish and Hispanic Studies. Previously, Alissa served as the copy editor at The Carroll News. In addition to her current role as campus editor, Alissa is a JCU football and basketball cheerleader, a writing consultant at the JCU Writing Center, works as a digital engagement ambassador for the JCU Carroll Fund, and serves on the visual arts committee for The Carroll Review. Also, she is honored to have co-founded the Theatre Club at John Carroll University. Other than writing, some of Alissa's favorite hobbies include musical theater, vocal performance, fashion, dance and cheerleading/acrobatics. After graduation, Alissa plans to write for children's entertainment.

To contact Alissa, email her at [email protected].

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