Today: May 29, 2024

‘First’ finals frustrations for college freshmen

blog.orgsync.comMACKENZIE HURLBERTStaff Writer

If you’re a freshman and reading this, you can safely say you are almost done with your first semester of college life and soon will be facing the dreaded week of finals. Hopefully your first semester was not a regrettable or unmemorable experience, and after crazy loads of homework, few hours of sleep and plenty of Ramen noodles, we can say we have officially tested the waters of college life. Now we must focus on the fact that in this final week, we will be the ones tested. Of course, there’s much more to experience and learn; we are only freshmen, as upperclassmen may repeatedly point out. While the semester may have gone by quickly, these last few weeks for me have been jam-packed with projects, presentations and papers, nevermind the looming and inevitable week of finals. I honestly have no idea what to expect for finals. How do they compare with the finals of high school? What’s the best way to prepare for them? And lastly, are they really as bad as everyone hypes them up to be?

Well, I guess my first round of finals will be a learning experience. But as a freshman, my lack of knowledge on what to expect scares me more than the final exams themselves. As far as I know, out of my five classes I have three finals exams and one exam where I have to hand in a paper. That’s not too bad. I may have even lucked out a bit for my first semester, but it was definitely a wake-up call to realize that in a week, for two hours each day, I will be tested on the entirety of the semester.

It is not just my thoughts that add to my anxiety. The hype shared by all, seniors and sophomores alike, has only added to the fact that I have no idea what the monster I’m about to face looks like. It reminds me of those summertime campfire stories that scared me so much as a kid. Instead of sitting on a fire-side log, in the dark of night, I’m eating lunch in a booth at Conn. Instead of the camp counselor sharing scary stories about monsters lurking in the nearby woods, the girls at the table behind me keep talking about the upcoming final exams, how terrible they were last year, and how much they want to get this year’s over with. The stories only create additional anxiety, and I let my imagination carry me away thinking about all the possibilities of final exam horrors: a 20-page test, six essays to write in two hours, or maybe 30 fill-in-the-blanks without a word bank—ugh, I hate those.

As if the unknown abyss of finals week isn’t enough to scare me, my teachers have all decided to have papers, group projects and presentations due during these last two weeks. They’ve served as a distraction for me: I focus on my paper that’s due Thursday, or the presentation I have to give Friday, instead of studying for the test I’ll have in a week. I’ve always been one to be more productive under stress, but lately, each time I check something off on my to-do list, I have two more tasks to write down, and “study for finals” remains unchecked. As crazy as it seems, sometimes I’m grateful for the distraction. It lets my mind focus on the task at hand instead of worrying about the looming shadow of finals. But then at night I lay awake, relieved from that day’s burden of homework, and remember the upcoming tests—the anonymous abyss that is finals week. Trust me, it’s enough to give a girl like me nightmares.

1 Comment

  1. Sounds like you got through it, lol. Am in my finals week. Worked hard all during my semester, and doing just that, rewards you greatly during finals. Oh yeah, am destroyed, killing every exams xD

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