Your worst nightmare has come true. You thought that you had finally created the perfect spring 2023 schedule, but turns out your three-day weekend — or, let’s face it, the ability to have lunch every day — comes at a staggering price: midterms on Housing Day. Dun dun duuun! But never fear — it’s still possible to have TBHDE (the Best Housing Day Ever, obvi) and survive the latest bit of professor-assigned torture, all in one 24-hour period. To help you get through the last academic strife before spring break — just three more days, just three more days — Flyby’s prepped our favorite (not-so-serious) tips to multitask on gaining the favor of the River Gods and extracting your professor’s mercy.
Study during River Run.
You have to study at some point, so you might as well do it during River Run. Everyone’s always saying that you should study with distractions, and Housing Day eve is the perfect time to put that advice into practice. If you can recite random psych tidbits while half your mental faculties are otherwise occupied, you can definitely communicate the same concepts with some level of coherence on your midterm the next day. Plus, having your friends cheer you on as you reach another house at the same time as the end of another unit might be just the encouragement you need to keep the study train chugging on.
Camp out in Berg for merch drop… with your laptop!
When you get done flipping through flashcards as you race from Adams to Mather, you can continue your grind (to end all grinds) in Annenberg as you wait for house swag distribution to start at 11:30 a.m. You can reward yourself for being a true academic with the cutest house merch at the table!
Get your letter delivered to Science Center Hall B.
Every second counts when you’re cramming, so save yourself a few minutes by listing your exam location as the “dorm” of your blocking group’s letter recipient. By arriving to your midterm hours before it even starts, you’ll move into test-taking mode even before Dorm Storm ends, transforming yourself into a midterm mastermind and hopefully gaining some brownie points with your professor. Your blockmates might complain about it a little at first, but they’ll have to admit that your lecture hall has a much better view of the festivities than Pennypacker. Lecture halls are pretty similar to dorms anyway; you can snack, gossip, and sleep in them just as well as you can in Hollis North. (Clearly, we can attest to this based on many a day spent devoting 100 percent of our attention to lecture.)
Contract a mysterious illness.
Actually accepting your impending doom is overrated; conspiring to get your midterms canceled is much cooler. There’s plenty of bugs floating around campus — a few of which, unfortunately enough, live in my basement — so catching one should be easy. Maybe, when they see you hacking up a lung your professor will be so concerned that they will finally see the error of their ways and cancel your midterm. Recovering from the Plague of Harvard Yard might not be how you initially envisioned spending spring break, but at least your status as an academic weapon will remain intact. And (after recovering from their… umm… headaches) your classmates will thank you!
Pray to the Quad Gods.
If earthly forces can’t convince your professors to cancel your midterms, it might be time to involve some supernatural entities. Radcliffe College students technically haven’t had midterms in years — whether or not they’ve had classes at all is irrelevant — so the Quad Gods must be doing something right when it comes to saving students from severe emotional turmoil. We’re not saying you need to add the Quad Houses to your River Run itinerary, but maybe stop by the Quad Grille or Cabot Cafe to pay your respects before Housing Day. The Quad Gods don’t get a lot of appreciation, so a little politeness might go a long way towards making your wildest dreams come true.
Disclaimer: Flyby is not responsible and should not be held liable for any mental, physical, or emotional damages that may or may not arise from the use of these tips.
All jokes aside, the best way for you to prepare for your midterms is to take care of yourself. Take a break from Housing Day festivities to study, yes, but also to catch a few z’s. Nourish your mind, body, and soul at Brain Break, breakfast in Berg, and dinner in your House. Reward yourself for rewatching last week’s lectures, reviewing psets, or skimming your notes; every little bit counts. And, if all else goes wrong, trust in the curve and rest easy knowing that, at the very least, no one can force you to take a midterm over break. You got this!