Jailene Veloz

Midterms monopolize lives of CCM students


Midterms are upon us, and students at County College of Morris are dealing with them through studying,  recognizing past mistakes and trying to learn from them.

“I’m studying right now,” said Casey Delgrosso, a digital media major at CCM. “I’m doing math, and I’ve been studying for my art history midterm.”

Delgrosso is with many other students who are in full midterm-mode, remembering his close call with disaster last semester.

“My car broke down,” Delgrosso said. “And my final was in 10 minutes, and I was, like, 10 minutes away from the school.”

Delgrosso called some friends to ask for a ride, asking himself what to do. In a last act of faith, he turned his car off and turned it back on. It started.

“I got here a little bit late, but it didn’t matter because the professor wasn’t in the class,” Delgrosso said.

Car problems are not the only obstacle students may face in midterm season. Raeanna Cope, a nursing major, said the fault lay with her.

“For my first nursing test, I didn’t put my priorities in order, so I didn’t do as well as I wanted to,” Cope said. “I would say put all your effort into what you do, because what you put in is what you’re gonna get out.”

Along with Cope, other CCM students had a lot of advice to give to first-year students who have never taken a midterm before. Ariel Juarez, a musical theatre major, was full of tips.

“Don’t take too many classes,” Juarez said. “Focus and take it slow. Stay healthy. Try not to get sick.”

Cumulative exams like midterms depend on a variety of skills, including levels of effort and overall wellbeing, but study methods are what make or break a grade on a midterm.

“I usually write them down on a flash card and then look at the problem,” Delgrosso said. “If I don’t know it, I look back at the flash card, and I just try to solve it, memorize it.”

No one technique works for every student, but these students seem to think alike. Cope said she uses the same method, with some exceptions.

“For (Anatomy and Physiology), I always use note cards,” Cope said. “And I haven’t really found my strategy for nursing yet because it’s, like, such a difficult topic.”

There is ample room for error when preparing for a midterm, so students should be easy on themselves if they have not hit their stride yet. New tasks are often difficult the first time.

“Don’t wait until the last minute,” Delgrosso said. “Just stay calm. Space your time out. Like, don’t do everything at once, you’re not gonna remember anything if you do that.”

The time students spend in college is the time to take the actions that will, come failure or success, define who they are and will be, according to an article by Christine M. Riordan, Ph.D, in the Huffington Post. Despite the pressure students seem to put on themselves to excel in their exams, it is unlikely that one failed midterm will doom one’s future.

Delgrosso put it simply. “Don’t stress out about it, I guess,” he said. After all, it may be that midterms are only as daunting as one makes them.