There's No Such Thing as a Midterm Week!



I don't know if this has ever happened to you, but whenever I talk to friends at other universities and we try to make plans together, they seem to be surprisingly free while I'm struggling with all those never-ending assignments and midterms. I've been made fun of so many times with a sentence like, "You're a university student, why do you have homework?" Or, if the person is a bit nicer, they say, "Oh, but you'll be free after midterms, right?"

Well, there's only one answer I can give to that question: "There's no such thing as a midterm week!" In fact, if I were to choose a sentence to describe Bilkent, that one would be among top three.

You might see ELIT/I under my name, but this is my sixth year at Bilkent. I was an MBG major before, which is another whole story, but I'm proud to say that I've cracked the code of being a Bilkent student. Your 14-week semester starts off nice and quiet. Introductions to classes, not many assignments, and you begin to think, "Wow, this semester will be so easy! I might get straight A's in all these classes. No big deal!" That mood starts to subside by week 3 as the number of assignments begins to increase exponentially. You're still hopeful, though: "Maybe I won't get straight A's, but B+ is a good grade too." Then midterms hit -- but not in the form of a single midterm week. Once these exams start, they never end until the semester does. And at this point you see a dramatic mood change: "I'll be so happy if I don't fail and can pass these courses with my old friend C!" Luckily for you (and me), you usually don't fail, which brings me to the second sentence to describe Bilkent: "This is a good school!"

I'm sure you tend to hate Bilkent right now, but this is a good school, and I'm not only talking about the international rankings. You really learn here, if you're willing to. If you don't want to learn, they teach you anyway, but that just makes the process more painful. Even looking back at this semester so far, I'm surprised how much I've learned. One might question how much I'll remember once I'm done with these courses -- well, I don't know the answer to that yet. However, I know one thing for sure: I'm growing gradually, both as a person and in my ability to comprehend. The very fact that I have a higher level of comprehension now makes all the pain more bearable. So hang in there! You're turning into a better person!

If knowing that you have "better comprehension" doesn't help you see the light at the end of the tunnel, I have one more sentence for you: "There are so many things to enjoy at this school." As a very lazy person, I've never been involved in student clubs, but I know there are dozens of them, so whatever you like to do, there's an organization you can join. If you're a bookworm, we have an incredible library. The fact that I can request books and they actually bring them to me still amazes me. If you love music, you're in the right place; going to a Bilkent Symphony Orchestra concert is always a worthwhile experience. And if you enjoy theater, a number of plays are staged by various departments each semester.

Besides, it's not only about the school but about its surroundings as well. Let's be honest, how many schools in Turkey have a shopping center with a huge supermarket, lots of shops, some nice restaurants, a movie theater and even a bowling alley? And if you say these things aren't enough, or might be a bit too pricey for students sometimes, there's always one more thing you can do (assuming you live on campus): just go up to Dorm 76 at night and look at the amazing view from the hill, either alone or with your friends and cups of teas. Speaking of friends, they will be the biggest reason to love being here, if they're not already. Even if you're eager to hate this school, you'll feel more blessed and peaceful each year you spend with them.

Remember, this is the voice of experience speaking!