• October 11, 2019 |

    midterms playlist

    here to save the day

    article by , illustrated by

    I don’t know how this happened, but when I checked my phone, I realized it was October. I swear I just got here yesterday and was just getting into the groove of things…but we’re a third done with the semester already. Of course, other than the fact that it’s finally acceptable to start having pumpkin spice everything again, it’s time for some other important festivities! Yes! You guessed right. It’s time for panic and prolonged SciLi dwelling again! It’s midterms season! So I’m back yet again trying to impose my “elderly” music taste and wisdom on you.


    First week of class: Three months just flew by, and you’re back! You’re settling into the new semester, and when you run into your old friends, the only thing that’s on your mind is how you can casually drop the fact that you interned at NASA over the summer, or that you started playing the guitar, or how you “really discovered your artistic side” just because your mom forced you to take one painting class. You walk into the first day of class (because you’ve somehow actually made it to your 9 a.m. on time), and you think to yourself, “Why did I find this so hard last semester, LOL.”  Looking at the syllabus, you don’t feel even an inkling of worry; you don’t even recall that academic stress even exists. As you walk out of class you decide, “I think I should really challenge myself. I’ll take an easy 5th class!”

    (The Boys are Back in Town – Thin Lizzy – Jailbreak) 


    The boys are back in town

    (The boys are back in town)

    The boys are back in town

    (The boys are back in town again)

    Spread the word around

    Guess who’s back in town

    Just spread the word around♪ 


    Classes start getting serious: If life has taught me anything, it’s that the good things don’t tend to last; so like every other semester, shit gets real—real fast. That easy week that gave you the illusion of “having your shit together” quickly fades into oblivion as the worst hell week you’ve ever experienced in your academic career begins to sneak up on you from out of the blue. All of a sudden, you begin to remember what it’s really like to be a student. 


    “I swear to God we were just given syllabi yesterday. How the heck do I already have problem sets for all of my classes?”

    (Changes – David Bowie – Hunky Dory) 



    Turn and face the strange


    Don’t want to be a richer man (just let me happy and broke, please!


    Turn and face the strange


    There’s gonna have to be a different man (I really thought stressed out me was a relic of the past

    Time may change me

    But I can’t trace time ♪


    Semester in full motion: Mistakes were made. The SciLi/CIT/(insert your favorite dark, sad study space here) has somehow become your true home again, even though you swore you would finally practice self-care and never step into that hellhole again (on a serious note: I did this and I’ve been significantly happier ever since, I highly recommend trying it!). Sleep is some sort of a fairytale concept…you can sleep once you graduate with three honors Sc.B’s or when you finally sell out to Exxon.

    That 21-question problem set you barely managed to finish by pulling yet another all-nighter means you slept through the deadline to change the grade option for that “easy fifth” class after “letting your eyes rest for a minute.” Guess it’s finally time to dig through Canvas for the syllabus you never even bothered to pick up in class and to start on the 800 pages of readings you need to catch up on. Happy reading!

    (Working Man – Rush – Rush)  

    (An extra-long one so you can do your readings) 


    ♪Well, I get up at seven (assuming you slept in the first place), yeah

    And I go to class at nine

    I got no time for livin’

    Yes, I’m workin’ all the time

    It seems to me

    I could live my life

    A lot better than I think I am 

    I guess that’s why they call me

    They call me the workin’ man♪


    Midterm Season in sight: So even though you started this semester with the intention of working hard and playing harder, the only thing you’re playing at this point is lecture capture at 2x speed.

    (when the party’s over – Billie Eilish – WHEN WE ALL FALL ASLEEP, WHERE DO WE GO?) *I was told that this is what the kids are listening to today*

    ♪Don’t you know I’m no good for you?

    I’ve learned to lose you, can’t afford to

    Tore my shirt to stop you bleedin’

    But nothin’ ever stops you leavin’


    This song was clearly written about the points on my mineralogy midterm this week.


    The beginning of the SciLi cram season: You’ve been devoid of all human interaction for the last…you don’t even remember. Ideally one should feel miserable, but misery is just your modus operandi at this point, so instead you feel nothing. You look around for a glimpse of human life, or perhaps sunlight, but all you can see is darkness, suffering, and all the readings you need to finish before your midterm tomorrow. 


    (Black Math – The White Stripes – Elephant) 

    ♪My books are sitting at the top of the stack now

    The longer words are really breaking my back now

    Maybe I’ll learn to understand,

    Drawing a square with a pencil in hand♪


    The “night” before the midterm: You had the midterm on your calendar, you had a study plan, it should’ve been smooth sailing, yet here we are T-minus 12 hours and you’ve only just managed to procure legible notes. You begin the process of bombarding your brain with material you didn’t even know existed, until eventually you accept your fate. “There’s another midterm; I’ll just kill that one!”

    (It’s too late – Carole King – Tapestry) 

    ♪Stayed in the SciLi all mornin’ just to pass the time

    There’s somethin’ wrong here, there can be no denyin’

    One of us is changin’, or maybe we’ve justs stopped tryin’♪


    Post-midterm trauma: You walk out of the midterm feeling some relief; finally, it’s all over! Right then, you hear your friends talking about problem five. You hear them reach a consensus that the answer is indeed 1.4, which of course is 50 orders of magnitude below your answer. “Well great! There goes yet another 15 points!” This opens a Pandora’s box of reconsideration and self doubt so you decide to completely ignore the fact that that midterm even happened—that is, if your friends ever  stop f**king talking about it. 

     (Jamie’s Cryin’ – Van Halen – Van Halen) 

     *for maximum catharsis replace Jamie with your name** 


    ♪She saw the look in his midterm

    And she knew nothing

    He wanted her points

    And it was now or never

    He made her feel so sad

    Oh, oh, oh, Jamie’s cryin’

    Oh, oh, oh, Jamie’s cryin’♪


    The “timely” writing of the paper: You decide to take a well-deserved break after that midterm shattered your will to be a student anymore. You budget your time, making sure to “only watch one episode” and “play only one round,” giving yourself “a good five hours to write a brilliant paper,” and still have “two hours to make edits and get some feedback.” We all know how this is really going to end, but still, let’s edit those statements. That one episode turned into three seasons, the finale of which disoriented you. So to get your mind off of the (spoiler!) death of McDreamy, you take a “short” five-hour nap…welp, now it’s 11:30…giving you a solid 20 minutes for your “work of art” paper. It’s time for the semesterly BS power hour, folks! 

    (Enter Sandman – Metallica – Metallica) 

    ♪Exit light

    Enter night

    Take my hand

    We’re off to never-never land

    Something’s wrong, shut the light

    Heavy thoughts tonight

    And they aren’t of Snow White♪


    Assignment Graded-Midterm 1: Let’s just say that after the number of points so willfully deducted on my midterm (only a slight majority of which were my own doing), my professor and I are no longer on speaking terms. And to think that just a few days ago, I thought they were the coolest. 
    (Speaking Terms – Snail Mail – Lush) 

    ♪Say what you gotta

    Sleep in somehow

    Leave things on speaking terms

    And I’ll see you around

    It’s all ash and dust ♪


    Midterm # I couldn’t keep track even if I wanted to: In the last playlist, I made a somewhat controversial statement, and this time I’d like to double down. “MIDTERMS AFTER BREAK SHOULD BE ILLEGAL.”

    (Misery – Michigander – Misery (single) ) 


    ♪I was hung up on a dream

    Being  comfortable was not enough for me

    But  then midterms walked into the room

    I knew all my plans were doomed♪


    Coming to terms with midterms: Okay folks, let’s get serious for a bit. Midterm season can be hard. Maybe you didn’t do as well as you’d hoped, maybe you didn’t expect college to be so stressful. It’s okay! 


    You’ll hear this many times, but I’ll say it anyway: One bad midterm grade won’t affect your career. In fact, every bad midterm I’ve had (and there’s been so many, oof) has been a learning experience for me! You’ll learn a lot by failing…I sure did! You’ll learn how to study better, and you’ll learn to grow confident in your abilities as a student. At the end of the day that’s what we’re here for! To grow, as students and as people! 


    And so, as you come to terms with midterm season, however it goes, I have for you the greatest, most inspiring song ever written: 

    (Landslide – Fleetwood Mac – Fleetwood Mac) 

    ♪Well, I’ve been ‘fraid of changin’

    ‘Cause I’ve built my life around you

    But time makes you bolder

    Even children get older

    And I’m gettin’ older, too♪


    I wouldn’t dare change these lyrics. 


    Well, if you actually liked the playlist here’s the links: 

    Apple Music 



    Or listen to it live this Friday on my radio show! On 101.1 FM/ bsrlive.com at 8pm!