Midterms always sucked, no matter what the content was. That was the motto Kaminari Denki believed in, and no, not because he failed each and every one of his midterms throughout his life, but because midterms were just evil incarnate. Who made midterms in the first place? If Denki could just meet them and casually shock their hand with the highest voltage power he could emit, then he would be slightly appeased.
He didn’t really know why he sucked so much at midterms. He was fairly decent at writing and not so decent at using his quirk, but he was trying. Didn’t that count for something? A for effort or some bullshit like that, right?
Denki supposed he should be grateful anyway, because prior to entering UA, his middle school midterms weren’t a living hell. Everyone in his class would panic, himself included, but they usually got by with enough studying (and cheating, but that’s not important). What sucked the most was the he actually did study and try his fucking hardest, but what did he have to show for it? A giant, red zero on the corner of his exams? The lowest ranking in his class? He might as well have not studied at all.
It hurt, not having his efforts reflected in his work, but who was he going to ask for help from? The teachers never explained anything thoroughly during class, and when they tried to help him, Denki wouldn’t understand anything anyway. He knew he wasn’t supposed to notice, but it was hard not to see the disappointment in his teachers’ eyes and, consequently, the drop in effort that they put towards helping him. Well, shit, Denki didn’t appreciate their “help” anyway. He got by with copying others and occasionally getting the right answers, for once.
But UA, oh UA… The prestigious high school he somehow made it in was exactly that: prestigious right to its fucking core. Don’t get him wrong, it was an amazing hero school and he wouldn’t give up the chance to be there, but the exams… They were an absolute terror. It was still only his first year there, but the first exam his class experienced was maddening; a gamble between showing off their quirks and achieving great scores or getting expelled. Denki wasn’t sure how the others weren’t nervous, but he remembered thinking his hero career was over before it even started. Oh shit, my quirk sucks ass, though?? How the hell am I supposed to run fast or throw a ball into outer space using electricity? I’m fucked.
He made it still, as usual. It wasn’t a breeze by any means, but for the first time, he actually passed with alright scores instead of just failing immediately. He tried hard, and he got results! Not the best, but why would he complain? At least he wouldn’t get expelled.
Which turned out to be a fucking ruse, thanks Mr. Aizawa. If Denki wasn’t in class with several other classmates around him, he would have a fucking breakdown because who does that? Denki had a hard time trusting Aizawa after that, but he got there eventually.
The thing was, after that initial exam, Class 1-A didn’t have very many exams. Sure they got a lot of quizzes and trivia and whatnot from all their subjects, which Denki did okay in, but they hadn’t gotten a real exam, one that was comprised of all the things they’d learned about so far.
Which was just fine to Denki, honestly. He could live with weekly quizzes if it meant not ever having to take another midterm or final in his life.
But he should have known that was wishful thinking. UA may have been a prestigious hero school but it was still a fucking school . It was just twice as tough because they had to learn about heroics but also keep the basics in check. Denki didn’t see why Math or English were important anymore, but Aizawa had glared at him when he asked and Present Mic had smiled and said it was for the best.
Math is an integral part of our lives, Kaminari. We won’t teach the complicated stuff because as integral as it is, it’s also bullshit and you will never have to use the Pythagorean theorem in your life. But no, you can’t get out of Math, Aizawa had told him.
English is fucking great, Present Mic had yelled at the top of his lungs, you get to cuss in another language, how cool is that? Also it would be necessary if you were to ever train or work overseas. I’m not trying to drill Shakespeare into you, little listener, but the basics are good to learn!
Yeah, just as he expected they would answer, but it didn’t hurt his ego to ask.
Also like he sort of expected and dreaded and hoped it wouldn’t come true, UA had midterms and finals. Granted, they weren’t only written exams, but Denki wasn’t sure if that was supposed to be comforting or not. Their first midterm was honestly not that bad, all things considered. They had recently been admitted and trained, so it didn’t cover as much.
And yet, Denki still got a fucking zero how the fuck was that possible .
He studied! He fucking studied (last minute but studying some material was better than nothing, right?!) yet nothing ever went his way and the exam gods liked to make fun of him at every opportunity. Denki ranked 20/20 in his class, and he would have made some kind of vision joke but he was honestly down in the dumps for a while. Ejiirou helped him study a little after that, taking pity upon him and agreeing when Denki basically begged to be taught.
Though I won’t be very useful, Eijirou told him, scratching his cheek sheepishly. I ranked 15 out of 20. But Denki didn’t care, the redhead was still someone above him and his grades weren’t terrible, so the two studied together for a while but eventually drifted off as they got busier with other things.
The midterm came and went, and Denki sulked about his grades for a while, but all thoughts of the exam vanished as time went on.
Except he was forced to remember how horrible he was at studying and school in general when the first term final exam rolled around. Oh fuck he was so fucked.
It was the end of June, the almost-end of their first semester, and holy shit was Denki excited but also terrified because that meant they had exactly one fucking week to study and pass their exam. One week for Denki to get his shit together and study like his life depended on it, because truthfully, some part of his life did depend on it, and Denki was going to make absolute damn sure he didn’t fail his final. He’d been too focused on the Sports Festival and his workplace experience to even think about their final, but now it just smacked him in the face and left him full of dread and anxiety.
At least Mina shared his anxieties, with her ranking right above him, but she was way too cheerful about his misery, chuckling while he clutched his head and screamed. Minoru just had to make it worse with his overall smugness and irritating intelligence. Who was he to rank above Denki, honestly?! If anything, he shouldn’t even be in their class, what with his multiple sexual offences. Denki may have deserved the worst ranking in class but Minoru deserved the worst ranking in life. Denki wasn’t ashamed to feel bitter about him ranking 9th place.
Izuku, the kind, lovely boy he was, tried to cheer up Denki and Mina, but just ended up revealing that he wanted to go to their summer break forest lodge, and couldn’t have anyone lagging behind or else they’d all be stuck at school doing remedial classes.
He didn’t say it like that, obviously, but he didn’t have to. Denki got the implication loud and clear. Tenya ended up agreeing and Shouto, in his calm but monotonous tone, basically told him to stop missing classes if he wanted better grades. Denki knew that already, but he clutched his chest dramatically anyway and yelled at them to mind their words. Those three had high scores, after all!
But then Momo, oh god his fucking savior, offered to help them with lectures, though she dejectedly didn’t do the same with the practical test part of the final. Before Denki could even get a word in, Kyouka, Hanta, and Mashirao butted in almost immediately and asked for help, too. Momo excitedly agreed and Denki felt better about his situation, because who was better at helping than the Number One student Yaoyorozu Momo herself?
Denki thought he overheard Eijirou and Katsuki talking behind them, but he didn’t quite catch what they said. He sort of wished he could have hung out with them instead. Eijirou was kind and Katsuki was smart, and under that abrasive personality lied a microscopic heart, the smallest compassionate heart Denki had ever seen, but it was there and he was sure that with enough begging and whining, Katsuki would agree to tutor him.
Except Momo had already offered and he had already agreed, so along with the rest of his classmates, he prepared for the written portion of their exam. He was going to fucking nail it and allow himself and everyone else to enjoy their summer break.