Countdown ’til Summer


Spring break is over, and summer is around the corner, but not so fast… there is still one more round of finals to take before the beach days, barbecues, and baseball games are in full effect. Perhaps you took a trip with your friends to a place with endless sun and clear blue oceans, maybe you volunteered your time and participated in an alternative spring break, but most likely you lounged around your house with your family and caught up with your friends back home. Regardless of how you spent your spring break, the reality is that you’re back on campus, and there’s only a few weeks left of the semester which means one thing: crunch time!

First thing‘s first. Don’t Procrastinate! You’ve heard it from your professors, your RA and naturally, your parents. If it wasn’t so common to see the library jam packed at midnight during finals week, it wouldn’t be such a reoccurring statement. We get it, you have 4 months to complete something, so you put it off thinking you’ll get back to it, the problem is you never do! A helpful suggestion to keep you organized is a To-Do list. There is no better feeling then getting something done and crossing it off your list. Utilize your professor’s office hours, and take advantage of study groups.  Sometimes you retain more information when it isn’t being delivered by a demanding professor. Get ahead & stay ahead!

Studying may not be the most entertaining part of college, but setting aside a time when both you and your roommate buckle down and drill into the books could end up being productive.  Come up with a plan, and upon completion, grab fro-yo as a treat! Don’t forget: a reward is always good motivation.

It’s always a great feeling opening that email notification saying you have a package from home. OCM is committed to making sure students feel the love on campus from their family. We have recently added healthy option care packages; so if you’re gluten free, vegan, or dedicated to working out, we have a package especially for you. There are plenty of treats in each pack, so be sure to share with your roommate! We love to hear feedback as well, so if there is something you wish was in your care package, let us know! Hard works always deserves compensation!

 Spirit Pack

Midterm Grades Not What You Expected?


If you haven’t just finished taking your Midterms, there’s a good chance you’re right in the middle of them. If you are one of the students who have already taken them- and received your grade, you may be feeling less than great about the outcome. If you got one (or more) of your Midterm grades back and noticed that you received much lower marks than you would have liked to see glaring back at you in a big, red letter, maybe it’s time to double check your points.

Now, don’t get me wrong. If you have received a low grade on your exam and felt like you were completely blanking during the entire time you were taking it, then your low grade marks are more than likely warranted. But, if you felt really confident about your test and can’t see how your high percentage resulted in a low letter grade, skimming over your markings for accuracy may be beneficial. Professors are normal people too, meaning that it isn’t abnormal for them to make a mistake here and there. If you’ve dissected your exam with a fine tooth comb and still believe that you received a grade in error, here’s a few things you can do to clear up the matter professionally.

1) Ask your teacher to go over the exam in class- If time and class materials allow, it may be a good idea to ask your professor to go over the exam during class time. There may be some other students in your class who also are confused about why they received the markings they did. And, if you and those other students had the same issue but did miss out on some of the points due to lack of attention, vague test directions, etc, your teacher may decide to adjust the grading process for a curve or decide to not count a particular question. Seeing how your teacher graded each question along with the correct answer could give you some clarity into why you missed those points.

2) Visit your professor during office hours- If you’re in a big lecture hall with 50+ students in one class, you may not get the attention you need to discuss your exam questions with your professor. Instead, try to stop by your professor’s office during out-of-class hours and ask if they wouldn’t mind spending some time going over your exam with you. Showing your teacher that you’re concerned about your grade and that you’re being proactive to keep them up and managed is a beneficial factor in their eyes. They want to see that you’re taking the responsibility and actions to keep up with your academics. And, you never know, your teacher may notice that they made a simple calculation mistake and have no problem updating your score for you. Try not to go into this meeting hasty and angry; if you were a professor with over 100 students, you’d have high chances of making a simple mistake too! And no, it’s not because your professor hates you or is an evil person, they may just have made a careless mistake and can clear it up for you easily.

3) If you and your professor are still butting heads- If you believe even after the above listed actions that your professor is still keeping points from you that are rightfully yours, taking the issue to the next level up may not be a bad idea. This doesn’t mean break down the front door of your College Dean’s house and demand they look into your issue and serve you your well deserved justice. If you’re going to take the matter to a higher authority you have to be respectful and go up the ladder in the right way. Going to someone at the very top of the line won’t get you anywhere. They have large scale issues to deal with, and you getting a 73.5% instead of a 74% is not their top priority- or concern. If you feel like you want to take it up the ladder, sit with your professor and tell them that you respect their decision, but you have a difference in opinion and as a student, you have the right to take a matter to the chair that manages your professor and you’d like to respectfully do so. This does NOT mean storming into your professor’s office and intimidating them with news that you’re taking the issue to the higher power. You never know if you’ll end up taking this professor again or needing a recommendation letter. Be tasteful, respectful and reasonable.

If you received low marks because you didn’t know the material or realized you have a bad case of test anxiety, there are always tutors and extra help available to you. There are plenty of groups and people on campus who are available to help you study for an exam or learn some concepts. If you feel like you get test anxiety during a test full of other students, you may want to ask your teacher if you can set it up to take your exam in a quiet room in the library. Of course, you will be monitored and your cell phone will NOT be allowed to come out, but at least you won’t hyper focus on how fast other students are finishing their exams or how many times the guy behind you is popping his gum or kicking your chair.

And if all of that fails, you can always go to your professor and admit defeat. They don’t want to see you fail, in fact they want to see you do well. If you explain to your professor that you tried really hard but just blanked on the material or thought the test was really challenging, ask them if you can possibly retake a new version of the exam or make up for it. In many cases, your teacher will be flexible with you and let you make up some, if not all, of the points you may have missed out on. Whatever happens, don’t freak out! There’s always a positive outcome that can be reached if you approach the situation respectfully and with the purpose of reaching an outcome, not being angry and hasty.