What You Googled This Week: Midterms Edition

By Lex Kang | 10/16/18 9:48pm

Dartmouth’s 10-week term means that you get to school, add-drop period begins and ends, and then it’s midterms season for the few weeks before finals. Midterms on their own are stressful enough, but given the time crunch that Dartmouth students face, it’s not easy to avoid a mental breakdown, and nothing defines a breakdown more than a crazy Google search history. Besides, it’s a great way to procrastinate. Here’s what I know you Googled this past week.

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Many of us are guilty of this, though we hate to admit it. Whether you’re a classic “snake” looking up the minimum GPA for going into investment banking or finance or an academic hoping to get into a prestigious grad school program or law school, sometimes you can’t help but anticipate the worst and start fearing your job security after graduation.

You’re assigning a problem set the morning of the midterm, which is worth 45% of the grade, which is on the same day that my fifteen-page geography paper and my take-home midterm for biology is due? This is definitely personal.

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You could have a high GPA and still feel like the world is coming to an end if you’re barely holding on to your mental stability as you cram for a midterm the night before. Somehow, you lose all faith in your ability not just now, for this midterm in this class, but for the rest of your Dartmouth career. You can see your GPA plummet before your eyes, and you need to look up good excuses that don’t come off as excuses. It’s also a good way to put off, you know, actually studying.

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You don’t like coffee. You’ve had a long, exhausting day. Novak stopped selling Monster, and the snack bars that have Five-Hour Energy are simply too far away. But the midterm is in four hours and you have seven chapters to skim and memorize. How do I do it? Only Google will tell.

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Your roommate is a chemistry prodigy, the kid that sits next to you in computer science created several apps, and you’re just one of a hundred high school valedictorians. Midterms can boost your anxiety and crush your self-esteem, and before you know it, you’re googling likelihoods of being a mistake on CollegeConfidential. But everyone has had these fears, and we promise that with some coffee and candy, you’ll get through just fine!


What if the major I chose isn’t right for me? What if I can’t complete it in four years? Can I finish a degree in a different major now, or is it too late? It can’t hurt to check, right? If you’re feeling imminent failure in a class required for your major. you might find yourself digging through your course history to see if you can drop your math major and switch to a comparative literature major halfway through your junior year instead.

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That’s it, I’m done. Get me out of here. I should have gone to state university instead. If you’ve thought that before during midterms, you may have looked up the process for transferring to another school. Few people actually go through with realizing their transfer plans formed in desperation before your midterm, but many have done it before.

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Burning out during midterms happens to almost everyone at some point in their Dartmouth career. You might feel like this really is the last midterm you can squeeze out the energy for, and after this, you’re going away for a year-long hike to recharge and find yourself. Well, maybe you need a couple of blog posts to convince you first.

The same as #8, but just more extreme. Once you squeeze this last midterm out, you’re dropping out and going for a life-long hike to do what you love and find yourself. Capitalism is terrible anyway. Well, maybe you need a couple of Facebook listicles to convince you first.

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A classic, and often a coping mechanism that originates from your high school days. If you’re just barely getting the motivation and energy to study, you can’t help but want to know just how well you have to do to do bare minimum, whatever that means for you, because you’ve long given up on that perfect GPA you told yourself you were going to get at the start of the term.

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Regardless of how many phases of midterm anxiety-induced Googling you’ve been through, you belong here, and you can do it. If the above is what it takes to keep you going, by all means, indulge, but we hope you don’t give up and you ace your midterms!


Lex Kang