Well put a fork in me, I am done. Just before beginning this article, I finished a 20-page paper for class. That would be the second of three papers I have to write for the end of the semester. And I would like to say that I feel recharged and accomplished and want to push on to the next assignment (of which I still have a couple). But I don’t. I want to watch Youtube and play Minecraft for the rest of the day. But I can’t. Because stupid me decided that I needed to be responsible and adult-like and actually get work done.
Growing up, I was the annoying kid that could get A’s on test she never studied for. I never even took a single ACT prep course and I still scored above the national average. Testing was always easy for me. Writing papers was much the same way. So throughout school and college, finals week was never that big a deal for me. I mean, I took part in the amenities provided (the University of Northern Iowa always brings in dogs to the library you can play with during finals week and it’s on my list of “BEST THINGS EVER”) but I never truly felt the stress of finals week.
Then came graduate school.
There’s a reason you’re considered a full time graduate student with only 9 credit hours, where it takes an undergrad 12 to be full time. The work is supposed to be harder than your undergrad. And boy-howdy, is it. If you want to feel the sweet sting of academic torture, try having to get 4 people to agree on every point of a major project you have to write a 20 page paper on. The end result was incredibly interesting and helped me learn to be a better museum curator. But like vaccines, while the end result is a healthy one, the process was painful.
I would like to list out all the tips and tricks to getting through finals week. I’m certain you could probably find a Buzzfeed article on it if you looked. But for my part, I’m in the “grit your teeth and bear it” portion of the semester. I know it’ll all be over soon and I’ll be sad to not be in the same classes anymore. But at this point, I just want to go home for the holidays, get presents, and sleep in for a week straight. Maybe play some Skyrim, I haven’t decided yet.
But for everyone currently fighting through the finals week stress, just keep at it. I can’t give you all the life hacks to lessen the stress, but think of how awesome it’ll feel to hold that degree. I can speak from experience that getting to actually say you have a BA is fantastic. The only thing that would make me feel more grownup is if I didn’t want to binge-watch old YouTube videos.
The process is suckish, the stress is real, but the end result is worth it.