CSU reacts: Mid-semester blues

Nick Botkin

How do you solve a problem like a midterm?

As we approach the midpoint of the semester and the projects and tests pile on, students have a wide variety of viewpoints on how they cope.


“It’s been good,” said Spencer Lipscombe, a senior political science major at Colorado State University. “It just feels like I’m settling into a kind of pattern when midterms roll around.”

However, this also entails certain trade-offs.

“Instead of keeping up 100 percent with readings and coursework, I’m just concerned about getting through midterms,” Lipscombe said. 

Lipscombe has two midterms and an array of projects to tackle. He plans to focus on midterms and make up the readings later, he said. 

Junior biochemistry major Emily Gervais feels good about her overall progress. However, she has had to adapt to certain challenges, her biggest being distractions, she said. 

Gervais likes to listen to music and hang out with friends, but she is also realistic about their potential to distract.

“Sometimes, it’s like this is my time,” Gervais said.

Gervais added that she has had to adapt her goals and expectations over the semester.  At the beginning of the semester, she was fired up about being a junior and getting good grades. She has since learned to adjust her goals and approaches.

“You have to be a lot more realistic about maintaining those expectations,” Gervais said. “You have to be a lot more proactive in reaching out.”

Mikkayla Nguyen is a fifth-year biomedical sciences major, with a minor in business. She has no illusions about the rigors of the semester.


“It’s stressful,” she said. “But you have to learn to adapt to the stresses.”

 Nguyen said that her major goal this semester was to get all As.

“I’ve just done more to focus,” Nguyen said.

Summer Noakes, a freshman with a marketing major, is in a different position because she does not have any midterms yet. 

“My goals have been steady,” Noakes said. “I’ve come in wanting to try my hardest and I think I’ve done a pretty good job.”

The rigors of midterms inevitably create stress. However, CSU students have their own particular stress-relieving methods.

A common way to relieve stress are exercising and meeting up with friends, Gervais said. 

“You can go back to your schoolwork with a fresher mind,” she said.

Floraida Lazcano, an animal sciences major, prioritizes taking time for herself. She watches at least two hours a day of Netflix. With her self-care regiment, it is sometimes difficult to find time to go to the gym. 

Some students like to keep it simple.

 “When I get exam overload I take a one hour break,” said Cotten Dornbach, a junior animal science major, who has four impending exams in organic chemistry, microbiology, animal handling and finance. 

 Dornbach finds going outside and enjoying nature an effective antidote.

“It gets my mind off everything,” Dornbach said. “Everything’s fresh again.”

TILT’s Academic Success Workshops:

  • When: Tuesdays at 4 p.m., Wednesdays at 5 p.m. and Thursdays at 6 p.m 
  • What: Workshops providing opportunities to learn and or sharpen specific skills needed for academic, professional and personal success.
  • Room 221 of the TILT building

Collegian reporter Mir-Yashar Seyedbagheri can be reached at entertainment@collegian.com or on Twitter @dudesosad