In the Midst of Finals…

It’s that time of year again! I’m scheduling club meetings, group project meetings, coffee breaks and study sessions, all while carrying my laptop and checking every email and notification I receive while also editing one of many papers.

What’s all the chaos, you ask? It’s finals week!

While I can’t necessarily speak on behalf of other colleges and universities, I feel confident in saying that no matter where you are, finals week is difficult. It’s a combined feeling of excitement for the summer and stress over looming assignments. It’s knowing you’re that much closer to being at home or at your exciting internship while frantically memorizing definitions on your flashcards. It’s daydreaming about a nice home-cooked meal while waiting in line for your third coffee in one day. It’s stressful, but it has to happen.

About a year and a half ago, I wrote about finals week as I finished my third semester’s worth of exams. Now, after another three semesters, I see junior year coming to a close, as final presentations and exams begin this week. In six semesters I’ve learned that the ironic thing about finals week is that while this is my sixth time going through them, for some reason I never feel fully prepared. I’ve gone to office hours. I’ve asked important questions. I’ve created study guides and rehearsed presentations. What else is there to do?

I can’t sit down and act like it isn’t overwhelming. I can’t pretend that these finals just don’t exist.

For me, it’s about taking the time to understand that I’m doing the best that I can, and I hope that other students, no matter how old they are or what school they attend, are doing the same thing.

Everyone’s way of experiencing finals week and coping with the various stresses of it are different. There’s no perfect formula for figuring out how to handle it. For me, at least, it’s about taking the time to know that I am doing all that I can.

To be completely honest, I wasn’t sure what path this blog post would take me down, but then again, do we ever know? For me, it’s about taking a chunk of time out of this already hectic schedule and looking at something at positively as possible.

To those of you experiencing the highs and lows of finals week like I am, I wish you the best of luck. Work hard. Get some sleep and remember that it will all be over soon, and as my mom likes to remind me sometimes, “You know more than you think you do.”

For those of you who aren’t in the midst of finals, but still could use some positive reinforcement, know this. Whatever you put your mind to, you can do. It’s incredible cliché, and I regret writing it to be honest, but clichés are often based in truth. When we face stressful situations, no matter what category they fall under, the easiest reaction can be to give up or run away.

If anything, I hope that reading this, no matter what your individual circumstances are, you remember to look on the bright side, or as I like to say, “Keep your face toward the sunshine.” Finals aren’t easy! There are a lot of things in life that are difficult. I hope that whatever you’re dealing with at this time, you remember to take a second, breathe and realize you can do it. Make yourself proud before you make somebody else proud. Study hard, stay strong and know that something greater has yet to come.

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