Finals. They come every year, and every year they are surprisingly grueling and hard. It shouldn’t be a surprise after four years, but it still is.
Freshman year we used to end school on a Wednesday and the first finals would be on Saturday. How do you give a Freshman an exam on a Saturday – that is pretty much a recognized possible day off until you have graduated college and live in the real world. I was blessed with an 8am exam on Saturday morning my Freshman year. It was worst than expected, although I may normally be up around 8 or 9am, I am normally not taking exams at that hour. I walked in tired, scared, and slightly cracked out because I had not slept from nerves. Luckily I survived my first final’s week – I can’t say with flying colors, but I passed, mostly.
My Sophomore year my school started a new policy – reading week. School ended on a Friday, we than had no classes for a week but teachers could hold office hours as well as review sessions (I recently learned that no final exams my given during this week). At first thought you may be thinking lucky you, a whole week to study. Wrong, very, very wrong. First off we get this so-called reading week, not for the students benefits, but because of budget cuts. Yes that is right, the teachers must still hold office hours, but they will not get paid for teaching. Secondly a whole week with nothing to do but study is dreadful.
There are normally two ways this week goes. The first is you start out strong, you work most of the day in the beginning of the week and your feeling great thinking that you do this the whole week. Well, around Wednesday or Thursday depending on when you started studying, this whole study all day thing is impossible. You get antsy, you can’t concentrate and suddenly you are not getting as much work done.
The second way that this week could go is that one procrastinates the first few days thinking I have at the very least a whole week, at the very most two weeks to study. By Thursday or Friday one realizes that they are way more screwed than they thought they were and this causes one to cram for the next three or four days in order to catch up.
I have tried most solutions such as making a study plan, having study groups, and taking breaks. None of it works. This semester I had the first option happen to me – I studied really well Saturday thru Wednesday and by Thursday I was finding it really hard to sit in a chair for more than an hour. I went to the gym everyday, and still could not
Finals, you are not something I will miss.
Best quiet study spot: Doe Reading Room
Best late night study spot: Main Stacks
Best Cafe: Sack’s