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December 10, 2012

It’s the Most Stressful Time of the Year

Please, please, please, can this be a reality?

‘Tis the season to be stressed out. Finals are right around the corner, and with them comes copious amounts of reading, paper writing, and (most likely) crying. I’ve been wishing and hoping the last few weeks that finals would be cancelled like they were in Harry Potter for four years. If I want to make that happen, though, I would probably have to open the Chamber of Secrets or find the Sorcerer’s stone, and let’s be honest, I don’t have time for shenanigans like that. I don’t know what Harry Potter was doing with his life, but he definitely wasn’t studying for his finals. Good thing Dumbledore cancelled them.

I’m sure you all remember how stressed I was about midterms. It didn’t take that long before I realized that midterms are child’s play compared to finals. I should have suspected that when I saw that there are two whole weeks of reading days to prepare for finals without the hassle of classes. Although, not all finals are created equal; my statistics final only covers material we learned in the last week, while my philosophy final consists of a 3,000 word paper and anywhere between 4-6 in-class short essays covering material from the entire semester.

Possibly more stressful than the finals themselves is the actual act of trying to find somewhere to study. I live in an all freshman residence hall, so naturally, it’s incredibly loud in here (a good place for socializing!), not ideal for studying. So to study, I have to throw everything I need into my backpack and haul myself over to the library (a whole 500 feet away). That’s when the games begin. The library has an unspoken system of how much work you’re going to get done based on what floor you go study on. The bottom floor, the Academic Commons, is less like a place for academia and more like a glorified play-space. People pretend to do

An approximation of what the library looks during regular daytime hours. To understand the full effects of finals, imagine the same scene packed with students.

homework as they sit in the fancy chairs and kick their feet up on the cute little tables and chit chat, completely ignoring their impending doom. The second floor is a decent study space, but it’s still slightly loud, since people don’t really feel guilty for talking in regular indoor-voices. The third floor is out of the question because it’s essentially a fancy balcony with books in it that overlooks the second floor, and you can hear everything that’s happening on both floors. So you can cross both of those off of the list of practical studying spaces. The only two remaining places are the fourth and fifth floors, which are so packed that in order to find somewhere to sit, you have to do two or three laps before you finally settle for one of the strange little tables jutting out from the wall. Honestly, does anyone even like those? I highly doubt it.

My most important lesson learned going into the reading weeks is that weekly readings are assigned weekly for a reason; if you don’t do them, you’re going to have to do them all at once later, (during reading weeks) and it’s really terrible and it eats up all your time. Don’t make the mistakes I did, kids. Do your reading assignments so you can actually study during your study time. Keep strong, everyone, the worst is yet to come.

That is, unless Harry Potter pulls through for us…

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