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After Lecture Questions

Hi, everyone! I just took my first college test and handed in my first paper this past week. Both feats were incredibly nerve-wracking for me because of how much stake I've put on academics throughout my life. I spent a lot of time glaring at my paper because I felt like something was off, but couldn't figure out what, and I spent the day before my first biology quiz with mild hypertension.

Studying at Rauner Library
Studying at Rauner Library! Studying in nice places eases the stress a little bit, and there are lots of hidden study spots on campus.
I have another biology exam next Thursday, as well as midterms after Homecoming weekend, so while this was my first foray into assessments at Dartmouth, it certainly won't be the last.

 

With this in mind, I've spent a little bit of time thinking about how I can approach grades and *judgment* with a more positive mindset, and have found great encouragement from the producers of said stress — my professors!

Interestingly enough, none of my professors emphasize tests or pure memorization in their teaching. We find problems in the subject together and learn about ways to address them. My classmates rarely ask "Will this be on the quiz?" during lecture, either, and our learning is always pushed by the class's collective interest in the subject. Sometimes we even ask questions outside of the scope of the course, prompting the professors to say, "Ask me again during your senior year." Whether it's in my writing, biology, or data analysis class, the information we learn has been, frankly speaking, cool. The professors' methods of teaching and engaging with me as a student have made learning the material so enjoyable and engaging for me. I find what I learn interesting and genuinely want to explore more!

Studying at the Green
When the weather is warm out, studying outside is also a treat!
This has resulted in some unique ways that I approach academics at Dartmouth, even as a freshman just ending Week 3 of her first fall on campus. Going forward, I really want to take examinations in a stride and not spend the entire week leading up to it in mild jitters. While yes, I do still care about doing well on my work, the learning environment on campus has been helping me to look beyond grades and discover what I'm truly passionate about. The competition inherent in things such as medians, grading curves, and applications (yes, those still exist after you get into college) can be a damper on a person's natural curiosities and inclinations, but I also urge you to take a step back and remember what got you interested in the first place. Pursuing any type of education is such an opportunity, so don't waste it by making yourself miserable! For the remainder of this year, I hope that I can navigate grades at Dartmouth with a little more grace than I did this first time around, and I hope the same for you, wherever you are!

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