Finals week: the one week of the year that college students dread because not only does it mean exams, final projects and frantic grade calculations, but it also means leaving our universities behind to work minimum wage jobs, longingly FaceTime our college besties and relearn the definition of “curfew.”
Leading up to finals week, we all experience a roller coaster of emotions (and crave the worst foods possible). My parents personally choose to limit their phone calls to me during the week. They’re not sure if I’ll be laughing, crying, or doing any one of these things:
You go into the week before finals feeling pretty confident about yourself and all of your exams. You go to (most of) your classes, take notes (from the person next to you), and rarely (always) goof off with your friends. After all, it’s all review at this point. You’ve never felt better.
Then, you check the syllabus and realize that the exam is cumulative. And that all of the questions are open-ended. And to be written in pen.
You decide that it’s time to start studying. But also then realize that high school prom pictures are on Instagram, you haven’t painted your nails in a while, and that it would probably be a good time to write a letter to your grandma. Any distraction will do at this point.
The days are running out and you realize that you still don’t know anything.
You keep looking at the information and it feels like nothing is sticking in your brain.
And all you want to do at this point is sleep.
But then you get a text from your best friend asking you to go out. Although it is the night before the exam, you convince yourself that you should because it’s your last night in town, you probably won’t absorb any more information, and you haven’t worn that dress all year.
You go out and have an awesome time. But when you look at your phone and realize that it’s 2:00 a.m. and the exam starts in 6 hours, you start to panic.
You run back to your room and pass out, then wake up an hour later to start studying. You rush to the classroom and sit down in a seat. You have never felt worse in your entire life.
Somehow, you manage to answer all of the questions, and finish before the exam time is over. You go from feeling your worst to your best, because it’s all finished.
But then you realize that it’s time to leave all of your friends for the summer and you get sad again. (Can you please control your emotions for like, two seconds?) You realize that you have to get it together and say goodbye one last time.
Finally, you pack up your car and drive away for the summer, reminiscing on all of the good and realizing that the one “hell week” was totally worth it. While the stress was completely overwhelming, it’s not finals week that you’ll remember 20 years down the road. It’s the late nights spent with friends, the adventures to new places, and the lessons learned along the way. Despite the anxiety, we wouldn’t trade finals week if it meant missing out on these memories.