What’s going on with midterm “season” at Brandeis
“Midterm season” at Brandeis always seems to span an obscure time period starting as early as the end of September and ending with Thanksgiving break. Across many departments, midterms are scheduled at random points, and there is no set deadline or time period for midterms. Since midterms come in the form of exams, presentations, essays, assignments, and more, this period is a trying and stressful time of the semester for everyone, including students and professors.
The finals period at Brandeis similarly spans a long period of time, but there is a more uniform schedule for the chaos of finals in comparison to midterms. A more decisive schedule would help to organize midterms, but due to the vast variety of midterms, it is hard to put them into one schedule. Additionally, more oversight over professors and their scheduling of midterms is desperately needed.
In addition, the lack of a concrete span of weeks creates more complexity around studying and having blocks of study time. For students living on campus or off, being able to have quiet space in their space can feel like a luxury that is not always accessible. While the Department of Community Living mandates quiet time periods, that attention afforded for finals is lacking when it comes to midterms.
Despite the lack of transparency around the span of midterms, this editorial board wishes to ease some stress through a compilation of resources that has been successfully proven to work by one of our board members.
This editorial board compiled some resources on how to get through this seemingly never-ending maze of midterms that have been proven successful in previous midterm periods.
Extensions truly are your best friend, and some professors are more than happy to give you an extension. The worst-case scenario is that they say no, and at least you tried. Just ask for them as far in advance as you can, and the sooner you ask, the more lenient your professor will be. Depending on your department and major, professors are willing to be flexible as long as you advocate for yourself.
It might not be possible for every department to be more lenient. However, going to office hours and meeting with professors can also give you extra brownie points, and clarifying a due date or part of the assignment is always welcome in Brandeis classrooms.
Allison Weiner ’25 recommended, “For freshmen, one of the biggest tips I can give is to be gracious to yourself — this is a particularly stressful time of year, and if you are feeling incredibly overwhelmed that is so normal and you are not alone.”
Staying diligent and organized with due dates and personal to-do items is another tip that Weiner gave, and reminding yourself to take care of yourself is critical to staying on top of your academics. Whether that be reminding yourself to do laundry, taking a shower, or washing out that bowl that has been out for four days, keeping up on the little things will truly help you get through that econ exam or bio lab. Small self-care moments truly make a world of difference.
We wish you luck with midterms and hope that you find space and time to rest and relax throughout the next few weeks!