It’s the end of the year and the weather is finally nice enough to venture out into. In the midst of enjoying the spring sun, as we shirk all our responsibilities, many forget that the next week is May.
May showers bring more than spring flowers. The first week of May is finals week; the time of year everyone knows is approaching but one no one prepares for. One third of undergraduates will most likely participate in a beautifully synchronized mental breakdown, while an annoying few will cruise through thanks to their near-obsessive class notes.
This next week, expect your peers to blare “The Final Countdown” while chugging enough coffee, Red Bull and Yerba Mate to stop an elephant’s heart. It makes one wonder, what is the best way to prepare for finals?
“My go-to method of studying is, funnily enough, the same as my method for combating stress, which is crying softly in public spaces,” said sophomore Fese Elango.
The only debate bigger than which major has more work to do, is which approach to finals is the one that works the best. There are only two rational approaches to these tests: either you adopt Marie Kondo’s lifestyle and choose to indulge in the procrastination-pass-times that bring you joy, hoping that your grades don’t suffer that much, or, lock yourself away in the library wearing your comfiest sweatpants and hope that you can successfully sacrifice sleep for a grade. The danger in choosing door number two is the high probability of sleeping through your exams.
“The only way to study is library second floor cube, beats blasting, study on,” sophomore Caroline Sonnen said.
But not all students are ready to spend a week living in the library.
“I definitely wait until the last minute to study. Leading up to finals there is a lot of work to do and I feel like I have to get all that done before I start studying,” sophomore Roxie Bartley said.
Sophomore Kate Wiper may have found a balance between the two methods.
“I study in a mix of beforehand and last-minute studying,” Wiper said. “But I have good intentions and I suggest looking at the big picture first and break it down.”
Whether you decide to put your nose to the grindstone or take the ultimate leap of faith and trust that somehow you will end up remembering what was written on the board while you were busy staring at Aaron Samuels, finals stress is inevitable.
A good method to make sure the study-strain doesn’t get too intense is by peppering in some relaxation time into your regimen.
“I take a lot of stress naps during finals week, it’s not that productive, but it feels great,” Bartley said.
Sometimes productivity isn’t what you, as a student, really need. Sometimes you need a binge-able series and a happy place.
“Watching something light hearted on Netflix that I don’t have to think about is the way to go to stop stressing about finals week,” Sonnen said.
Going outside and getting a breath of fresh spring air is also a great way to recharge.
“I have a good route around Hemmingson, the library, and the gym," said Wiper.
While the student body struggles to finish all the work that needs to get done before the actual studying for finals, we all have to remember there’s a light at the end of this tunnel. And once we inevitably finish the year that just won’t end, we’ll have time to finally make our way through the 2019 bucket lists we all made back in January.
“The one thing I would really like to do before the semester ends is to have a picnic at Lake Arthur at sunset,” Elango said.
Whether you’re running on zero sleep or coasting through, remember that finals is only one week. Don’t let it define your semester and don’t forget to be with the people you love, doing everything you want to do before you leave for the summer.
Spencer Brown is a staff writer.