I would love to say that after years of going to school, that exam season didn’t hit me like a wall. Unfortunately, that would be a very blatant lie. Between all the final papers, studying and then writing exams, it’s nearly impossible to somehow prepare yourself for the stress. If you don’t have one meltdown during finals, do you really care about school? That’s a subjective question and not the point, but you get where I’m going with this: exam season sucks.
I like to consider myself somewhat of an expert at this after 18 years straight of schooling. So here are the various stages students go through as they enter into, and go through, the exam season:
The “It’s starting to get busy” stage: There really isn’t much of a break between midterms and finals. We tend to think that we will go back to the original state of relaxation from the beginning of the semester before going into finals, but we don’t really have time to get there. Before we know, things start picking up again, and it sort of hits us out of nowhere.
The “no, no I am going to be fine” (denial) stage: Maybe you go to the library for two whole days or simply make a list to organize yourself a bit. Either way, for a little there you start to think that things really are going to be okay. It’s just two papers, right? No big deal, you got this.
The “Shit! What is happening!” stage: Wait, wait, I do not get this. I actually have four papers, two tests, one lab, and I haven’t don’t laundry in three weeks.
The “I give up, everything I do sucks” stage: Nothing I write sounds good. Whether I take 12 hours or 2 hours it all comes out the same, so what difference does it make? I give up. I am going Christmas shopping, and then I’m going to consume several bottles of wine and pretend like I’m not even a student but a rich person living in a shitty house.
The “final grind” stage: Well, that was a bad idea. Now I still have all those assignments, but I’m several days behind the schedule of it being possible to accomplish. I will cease to sleep for the better portion of a week, eat cereal for dinner, chocolate for breakfast, and wash my hair whenever I can no longer stand it.
The “please take this from me” stage: This one is both satisfying and depressing simultaneously. I mean when you hand it one of the papers or that second last exam, it feels good. One thing to scratch off that list, one class to never think about again. But like, what about the fact that you still have an exam tomorrow and now you only have 24 hours to study for it?
The “I’M DONE” stage: I am free. I am happy. I am never coming back! (until January). I am going to spend all my money on myself instead of Christmas presents because I deserve it for surviving. I am so accomplished! I am going to burn all the books and delete all the files and rid myself free of this nuisance of a degree. Then go home and tell my families that school is great and I’m now a genius.
And there we have it, friends. The reality of being a student sure isn’t pretty. In fact, for the majority of the time, it’s quite the opposite. We are all just a bunch of dirty kids who have perfected the length of time we can go using deodorant and dry shampoo.
We are brilliant and ultimately super confused about pretty much everything. It’s fun and stressful and the perfect experience if you want to just try out every emotion you can possibly feel in a row.
Feature image via Gilmore Girls