Well, I spent the semester dreading them and now they’ve almost come to pass. We are in the trenches (really the stacks of the library) and there’s no way out but to get through this one last day of them.
Don’t be deceived, I don’t smile like this during finals week… see picture below
Finals week isn’t the worst week of your life though, we as college students need to stop saying that. Are you tired? Of course. Is it a challenge to take an exam and then open a textbook immediately afterwards and start studying again? Yes. But really this is the one point of the year where you and everyone else at college is going through the exact same thing, which is oddly comforting. There have been times during midterms that I feel very much alone, no one else has all their exams and papers piled into the same week and so I spend that week by myself alone at a desk, wondering why it feels like I’m the only one stressed out … Well during finals, I’m never the only one studying. Camaraderie!
Because of this camaraderie with my fellow studious friends the good times during finals week are very good indeed. We laugh harder, get crazier, and seek out more adventures in between frantic studying. I’ve made snowmen in the middle of the night, gone sledding, gone for runs in 6 degrees, and attempted to make my desk into a fort over the course of my college career finals. I’ve laughed harder and lived more despite the stress surrounding me.
Besides the camaraderie and the random adventures that occur throughout this time there is also the sweet satisfaction of being done with class. Once you take a final you are done with it FOREVER! Sometimes that’s bittersweet, there are some classes this semester that I’m loathe to part from and there are some that I began a countdown after the first week of class (looking at you, physics).
I pity the finals I take on the last day though. By the end of the week I am burned out. For the first few finals I’m motivated even eager (sometimes) but by the last one I’m dragging my backpack from place to place, shuffling through piles of notes, skimming them wishing to be done. That final really ends up getting my last ditch effort, where I haphazardly throw together what is left of my brain to achieve a passing grade.
Something I’ve been reminding myself through finals is that I’m not just looking for that good grade. I’m yearning to grow and to learn. My grade won’t show my curiosity and my love of learning, and that’s okay. I mean, a liberal arts education isn’t about making you memorize facts it’s purpose is to teach you how to learn and how to think. The primary purpose of this education (although yes, grades are important) is for me to grow as a human, to learn more about the world around me. And so far my school has done a great job of pushing me to grow. The classes that I’ve grown the most from were not the classes I got A’s in. And that’s okay.
I keep rereading the poem Ithaca because it reminds me of what my educational journey ought to be.
So good luck to all you students, all you studiers, all you academics! Enjoy the camaraderie, find quirky adventures in spite of exams, and don’t aim for the grade (well do aim for good grades, don’t fail) but more importantly aim to learn! Godspeed, friends. We are almost done!!
P.S. The first time I wore this outfit my friend remarked “Wow, I wore that same outfit to high school, it was my uniform.” Soo0, I might look like I attend the school they go to in Gossip Girl (never have actually seen that show, I only know they wear something along these lines).
The skirt is GAP (a hand me down from my mom), the white blouse is also GAP and the boots are Old Navy (are you catching a rhythm in my outfits yet?) Oh and the glasses can be found here. Okay and now I need to stop writing and get back to studying.