Exam Culture

Fast Facts about Finals Week (In To-Do List format, since that seems to be the structure of my life as of late)

  1. The library starts to look more familiar than your living room. Not only that, but you can’t remember the last time you spent more than a couple hours any where else besides the library.
  2. Even though you may be stuck there, the library is where everyone else is! So part of library time is wandering around and finding people to talk to. Studying + 2X socializing= a successful library experience.
  3. There are only two activities to partake in during exam week: studying and procrastinating. (Socializing would be an example of procrastinating. Blogging about exams might also fall into that category). If you’re not studying, you’re procrastinating. If you’re not procrastinating (which is rare), you’re studying. They’re mutually exclusive.
  4. Notice that I didn’t mention sleep in #3? That’s right, because it’s not a real thing.
  5. Your entire life seems to be consumed by exams, and this includes social media. It’s like finals hijacks every form of online networking. You’re either Tweeting about how stressed you are, Instagraming how caffeinated you are, or Facebook posting how “DONE :) !!!”  you are. The choice tool for procrastination (to escape the torture that is exams) simply mocks you that you’re trapped. Forever.
  6. You have never experienced the urge to murder someone unless you’ve talked to that one person who has “one take home final” so they’ll be going home today. Stay calm. You’re better than them.
  7. This post is starting to seem liked a Buzzfeed article (insert funny gif [here]). Makes sense because once you get tired of scrolling through your FB feed that hasn’t changed in an hour, Buzzfeed is the best next thing.
  8. There is a strict dress code for final exams: messy buns, sweatshirts, and yoga pants. People who actually try to look like real people obviously don’t have their priorities in order. *HOWEVER, this does not include makeup. Always wear makeup. No one wants to see your stress acne.
  9. One of the most fascinating phenomena of finals week is how your body craves every sort of bad food that you can imagine. Want some pizza? Sure, right after my 5th bag of Swedish fish. Damn I could really go for some curly fries, maybe they should accompany my chocolate bar. It doesn’t matter if it’s fried, sweet, sugary, salty. You want it, need it, can’t get enough of it.
  10. Along the lines of nutrition, we should talk about coffee. Coffee/caffeine= Jesus Christ of exams. It is your savior. I don’t care if you’re a self-proclaimed non-coffee drinker, you binge on caffeine during exams. When you find yourself asking how much coffee is too much, just remember: the limit does not exist.
  11. You will inevitably get sick either pre, during, or post exams. You cannot escape it. Remember to keep your extra DayQuil from midterms because the worse feeling in the world is having a fever and writing a 10 page research paper.
  12. There’s always that demoralizing final. The one that just takes your brain, shakes it up, and returns its mushy remains back into your head. I’m a barista so I see this first-hand. Those poor souls, dazed and confused, looking for their saving grace (#10) to give them back some semblance of hope. They’ll probably tweet about it later.
  13. Almost always, there’s that point you reach sometime during the week. Maybe it comes with the delusional 1AM giggle fit, that somehow dissolves into laughing, sad tears… Or perhaps it’s that moment where you simply sink to the floor of your apartment because your soul feels crushed and you do not have the strength to stand…These may or may not be real life examples… Regardless of how you experience it, you experience it.  That point of denial and desperation. But…
  14. Don’t lose hope! Because after that point, you feel energized. Determined. Motivated. You can see the light at the end of the tunnel. You’re almost there. All this hard work is going to pay off and you’ll be back on your couch at home.
  15. And that leads to the best feeling of all. That DONE feeling. You feel like you’ve conquered the world. You breathe the biggest sigh of relief. One of the most rewarding feelings is throwing out all your notes from the semester and sinking into a lazy, sleep-deprived state of pure happiness. And that feeling makes this week all worth it.

Make the force be with you. You WILL conquer finals. All exams weeks end eventually. You go, Glen Co Co.

Here’s to finding a creative way to procrastinate & the amount of sleep I’m looking forward to in 4 days.

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