During every single midterm, there’s always that one person who just can’t stop frustrating you, and of course, it’s the neighboring, clueless soul. Not only was this the person who walked into the midterm with the gait of that overconfident engineer everyone wants to punch, but they also won’t let you figure out the first question of the midterm because of their mere presence. From the cougher to the panicking personality, here’s a ranking of the five most annoying things a person can do when you’re taking a midterm.
1. The flailing fandango
The person who does everything with more energy than you’ve had since you got into UC Berkeley — this person writes at sonic speed and then erases everything that they just wrote even more quickly. The vigorous back-and-forth motion of your neighbor’s arm is fast enough to nearly leave you blind from a pointy elbow while also blocking your view of the exam. The byproduct of eraser dust everywhere doesn’t help, either.
2. Queries and confusion
Calling the GSI over every five minutes, this person interrogates the graduate student as if expecting them to give the answers to the midterm. While this works in your favor sometimes because the GSI drops a hint that makes everything click for you, it’s usually just annoying background noise regarding a question that you haven’t even gotten to yet.
While taking a midterm that kills you on the inside, someone creates a background of death by coughing as if they’re actually dying. This onomatopoeic soundtrack would usually amuse you, but the wheezing really just gives you a headache, making it impossible to think and get out of there ASAP. You can sympathize, though — the cougher is probably a victim of eraser dust and flailing fandangos.
4. Click. Tap. Rustle.
You never think about the unrhythmic and infuriating range of sounds a human can make until the middle of your most important midterm of the semester — when the personification of cacophony rears its head. Fidgeting away, this person nervously clicks their pen and taps against the floor in a manner reminiscent of the sound of torture, making you want to pull your hair out from sheer irritation.
5. The early leaver
The sound of a confident strut as someone leaves after handing in their paper while you’re in the middle of your midterm makes your own struggle seem pointless. Chances are that this person probably just messed up that glorious bell curve you were hoping to ride, pushing up the average to a level you’re not going to meet.
While you can’t control the presence of any of these people, knowing about them will definitely help you prepare to avoid the infuriation. Good luck on your midterms, Golden Bears!