Finals week: Survival of the
December 12, 2008 | Finals Week usually brings with
it a connotation of unpleasant anticipation and overall
discomfort, putting most students on the verge of aneurysms
and ulcers. In the last few weeks of the semester, most
students can be seen hunched over books or staring at
computer screens, fervidly studying for their next exam.
But a pit full of anxiety isn't all Finals Week does
to a student. It also seems to bring out the sarcastic,
somewhat impatient and occasionally rude side of people.
It's as if a gas is released the week before finals
that brings out everyone's inner beast. Life ceases
to be about being a courteous individual and drastically
switches to survival of the fittest.
This transformation is seen most vividly among roommates
and fellow students at the library.
The roommate conflict seems to be the most obvious
and problematic. Two people, one room and they both
have different studying habits. One roommate likes music
on, while the other needs quiet. One likes to study
with their significant other, while the other prefers
to be alone. These circumstances, as well as the added
stress, lead to World War III and a broken boom box.
To avoid this conflict, the student may choose leave
the residents halls and try the library, but life doesn't
get much better there. Instead of one cranky person,
the student is surrounded by hundreds of students cramming
last minute information into their brains. The student
will think to themselves, "Damn, I wish I had booked
a study room instead of sharing a table with a complete
But the student will quickly learn the study rooms
cause just as much drama if not more than being
back in their apartment.
From the table against the wall the student will witness
a man, who is carrying five math books, walk up to one
of the study room doors, rip it open and yell to the
group inside, "Your time's up, get out of here." The
group, hard at work on their own engineering project
stands in unison to rebuff the unexpected visitor.
"We signed up for this room until 8:30, it's only
8:29, so take a hike," one of the students shouts.
After this a fist-flying brawl will ensue with the
theme song from "West Side Story" playing over the loudspeaker
of the library. Other students sitting nearby will join
in hopes of warding off the cause of all the disturbance,
only to add to the problem. This will leave the floor
of the library scattered with torn books, smashed computer
monitors and one giant model of the solar system broken
in the million little pieces.
OK, this may be an exaggeration of what finals week
is like, but it's not far off. So many students are
wrapped up in their own stress and anxiety that they
forget there are 20,000 other students on campus going
through the same thing.
However, it's not the student that I blame for this
mental switch that occurs on Finals Week. What can anyone
expect from a group of people who just got off a week
long break where they could eat and sleep all they wanted
without thinking about school. And then they're asked
to take five finals on three different subjects in two
different languages. No bueno.
Or maybe the animal mentality is just leftover from
Black Friday, a day where people stormed through stores,
knocking over their neighbors simply to nab the new
Hot Wheels toy for their kid. I will, however, give
students the benefit of the doubt and assume they won't
barge through the library doors and trample the librarians
to death. No bueno.
So this Finals Week let's try to be a little more
civil than we have in years past. Be patient with your
friends and loved ones. Remember, they're probably so
stressed they'd like to punch you in the face, too.
Having said this, I'd like to encourage all of you
who think Finals Week pranks are funny to resist the
temptation to set off blow horns in the library or residents
halls. This article can only change so many minds, meaning
some people will continue to be high strung and may
actually throw you off the roof of a very tall building.