The word “midterms” does not carry nearly as much weight as the word “finals,” perhaps, but for Andover students, midterms serve as a reminder: get on track or stay on track. While midterms reports are not as stigmatized as finals, they are stressful nonetheless. Academic performance starts to matter much more during midterms, with the realization that we only have half a term left to either pull our grades up to the ones we desire or keep the grades that we have. Despite the obvious significance of grades and GPA, Andover students should take midterms not just as a reminder to focus on academics, but also as a reminder to enjoy themselves.
There is more to Andover than just academics. The plethora of clubs, visiting speakers, and our diverse community of students are just a few of the things that make up Andover. Still, we are dominated solely by the academic aspect of our life, so our midterm grades trigger an alarm in all of our minds. Midterms are seen as only a measure of how we have fared so far in our classes, rather than as a reminder to explore the opportunities Andover has to offer.
I suggest students view midterms as a wake up call that there is only half the term left to take advantage of Andover before we all return home for summer break. I urge students to take the rest of the term to explore areas of interest to you and to simply enjoy your Andover experience. Go ahead and voice an opinion you truly care about in a class. Join a club you have always been interested in. Our time at Andover is too short for us to pass up on the multitude of different learning experiences offered in extracurriculars. Give yourself a chance to rest by going lawning or taking a walk in the sanctuary with your friends as spring brings warmer weather. Instead of focusing on the numbers displayed on your screen on your midterm report, take time now to think about the activities you may be missing out on while concentrating solely on grades.
While changing our somewhat negative mindset towards midterms is difficult, it is an effort that everyone should make. Midterm reports are typically perceived simply as a way of showing us what we can improve on academically — but I invite all of Andover to take a look at the broader picture. There is much more to our Andover experience than one low grade, and we should give ourselves the opportunity to unwind a little to cherish our days left at Andover.
Zoe Yin is a Junior from Andover, Mass.