We can’t avoid them if we tried

Photo illustration by caitlin mccarrick / staff photographer
Photo illustration by caitlin mccarrick / staff photographer

Let’s face it. We’re obsessed with them. We tweet, Facebook and complain about them. And these days, they are the one thing that consumes our every waking thought. Finals.

They’ve haunted us for months, and now they are finally here. Say hello to late nights at the Oviatt, girls with messy pony tails and no makeup, and long lines at the Freudian Sip.

I think this part of the semester really brings out a student’s true colors. Is the student able to rise above the pressure and run that last leg of the marathon? Or will the student fall by the wayside?

It’s safe to say that despite how well prepared we are for finals, how much we’ve all studied, there will always be that anxiety that haunts us until the very end.

So what’s to be done when we’re sick of staring at the computer screen or the same highlighted page of our foreign economics book? How do we survive finals without burning out and without graying our hair?

Sadly, there is no exact science to getting through finals week. But there are a few ways to keep some of our sanity intact while going through the experience.

From the get-go, I personally don’t put too much emphasis on finals. If I think about the impact one test can have on the rest of my life, I tend to become a little stressed and anxious.

So instead, I look at the test as just a recap of the semester. Are the things I think are important on the test also important to my professor? If not, then maybe my professor is in the wrong.

After all, I am the one being asked to apply what I learned to my respective field of interest. Many professors are simply giving us the information, they aren’t the ones who have to use it presently. Who are they to dictate what is important information for us to keep?

With such a low interest in the significance of the final test, I also don’t put much effort into studying. Sure I’ll go over notes, and maybe look over the chapters I never read to begin with.

But I feel that studying material we should already know is a complete waste of time. I mean, if we don’t know it by now, then the chances of learning it the night before are very slim.

Instead, we should be relaxing and making sure that we don’t fill our already tired brains with more information that may or may not even be on the test.

I’ve found that a good way to try to relax is by getting rid of everything that reminds me of school and just holding myself hostage in my room.

By staying away from the books, the notes and even my laptop, and succumbing to the powers of my television and iPod, the idea of finals simply melts away.

So much is asked of us college students already, we’ve had to deal with multiple classes, projects, papers, professors, not to mention the furloughs and tuition and fees increase; can’t we just get a break?

For those of us who have been here for the last five years—ahem, me—don’t we deserve a little time at the end to just sit back and reflect on the past semester?

I hate the finality of finals. To think that one single test is used to measure what we’ve learned throughout the entire semester is a little disheartening.

Maybe finals should be semester-long, so that when it comes down to it, it’s not really a final at all.

But alas, finals are just an inevitable way for the man to get us down, something that we all must deal with.