For those of us who are current college students, the most dreaded seven-day stretch of your academic enterprise is rapidly approaching.
This period in time, notoriously known as “finals week," occurs at the culmination of each semester — a week in which waves of stress crash into the shores of even the most erudite scholar's cerebellum.
In less sophisticated terms, finals week is when the collective sh*t hits the fan; it's a week anticipated by none, prepared for by few but respected by all.
The “And So It Begins” Stage
For most students (and when I say most, I’m referring to the laggard deadbeats, like myself), the days leading up to finals week typically go as follows: You're sitting in class, watching Vine compilations and/or updating your Fantasy Football roster for the upcoming Sunday when your teacher mentions the words "final exam."
Suddenly, your ears perk up. "This is probably important," you deftly conclude.
Your teacher then proceeds to discuss various implications of the test, particularly, how the exam, if failed, will implode your GPA in a fashion that would make the atomic bombings at Hiroshima and Nagasaki look like acts of tactical vandalism.
While you frantically rip through your notes (which you elected not to take), the teacher hands out a test outline that might as well read "Everything.”
Remember that three-hour night class you elected to skip in favor of pounding cheap beer and playing Mario Kart with your degenerate friends? Well, yeah, everything she spoke about that night will be on the exam.
Now it’s time to befriend that awkward kid who sits in the front row and who seemingly always has a question to ask. You cross your fingers that maybe he'll send you a copy of his study guide within the next couple of days.
If he doesn’t take the bait, it’s officially time to resort to Plan B: studying and learning the course material the old-fashioned way.
The Library Is A Breathing Farce
The campus library — which is, by far, the most stressful place on campus during finals week — is your next destination. Before you walk in, expect the scent of body odor and hopelessness as well as the fact that you most likely won’t find an unoccupied spot to study.
As you’ll notice, areas around the library are no longer exclusively inhabited by graduate students; communications majors aggressively attempting to shove 200 pages worth of Media Studies vocabulary into their craniums by next Thursday are there, too. Finding a seat in the library during finals week is like finding a parking spot at Best Buy on Black Friday: It likely won't happen.
However, if it does occur, your best bet is to immediately shut down any device capable of bringing you into contact with social media; the only thing worse than the library during finals week is the fact that everyone insists on complaining about their academic obligations on Facebook.
The Whine And Cheese Demographic
While extreme poverty, widespread disease and civil uprisings reign supreme in other regions around the globe, no one is having a more difficult week than you and your peers during finals week.
One scroll through your Facebook or Twitter feed is all you need to do to confirm that every person you know on campus is having the “worst week ever.”
Did you happen to notice the thick, seemingly omnipotent smog suspended above your campus? Well, that thick smog has nothing to do with carbon dioxide emissions or electromagnetic radiation or anything else with which Al Gore is concerned.
That smog is simply a product of cigarette smoke. I'm not an economist; however, judging from how people spend their “study breaks,” Marlborough must post MONSTER numbers in early December and late May.
The “Breakfast Of Champions”
During finals week, coffee is officially your new best friend. It will ultimately get you through the week because the human body isn't capable of tackling three research papers by next Wednesday on evolution alone.
For the next seven days, the only thing exerting more effort than you will be your Keurig.
If coffee isn't enough, the philanthropic individuals in the field of modern medicine have offered a solution: Adderall — or what many college students call "The Breakfast of Champions."
It will become roughly 30 percent of your total diet until grades finalize.
You won't eat or sleep for the next 48 hours (and inevitably, you'll begin to hate everything and anything in existence), but at least you finished that bullsh*t, 15-page research paper regarding the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict your teacher managed to clandestinely smuggle into the syllabus.
The Abrupt Realization
With all things considered, the very worst part of finals week is when you realize that although it's technically over, it isn’t really over. You might have finished your tests and completed your essays, but none of it means anything until you see your grades.
Just understand that upon reviewing your research paper regarding the Civil Rights Movement, your teacher might recognize that a large majority of the knowledge you showed was a product of "Remember the Titans."
And although the relationship between Gary Bertier and Julius Campbell was nothing short of inspiring, you probably could have thrown in a few Malcolm X quotes for good measure.
Photo via We Heart It