4 Stages Of Finals Week, Broken Down By A Distressed College Student

by Sierra Paige Dennis

I’m not sure what’s worse: doing school work over the course of 12 weeks or cramming for one test that can determine your whole grade at the end of the semester.

Regardless of whether you are in your first round of finals as a freshman or you’re like me and have been through this stage many times, every college student loathes finals week.

You spend too much money on energy drinks, coffee with double shots of espresso or whatever you do to stay awake throughout the night.

By the time you’re prepared, it’s all pointless because you’re so tired you could cry.

Here are the four stages of the finals process, so you can prepare for the pain:

Stage 1: Depression

Yes, you are deeply depressed because you either a) realize you have so many tests to study for you can’t breathe, or b) have to pass one of your finals to make a certain grade in the class and it literally makes you cringe.

As you finally have the motivation to print out your reviews and open the textbook you haven’t touched all semester, you look down at all the papers around you and face palm. Once you lift your head, you look around and, well, repeat the face palm.

After a quick call to your parents, letting them know you've decided to take the acting route because school is too hard and they talk you out of it, you meet your depressed state. From there, you move on to the next stage...

Stage 2: Motivation

Yes, you are now motivated to attempt to study. You went to the local corner store, turned off your phone so you could focus, and voila! You found the motivation to pass your finals!

You have planned which class to study for at which time. After a few hours of studying, you slowly sink back into your depressive state and call your best friend, who already graduated, for moral support. He or she answers you while at a party and says, "You can do it," and the studying re-commences.

As the days of the finals come closer, you realize you should have studied a little bit more because you actually decided to join your friend at that party, and then, the next stage starts up...

Stage 3: Panic

Finals are tomorrow. Yes, all of your finals are on one day because... life.

You probably drink more caffeine and sugar-laced energy drinks than your liver can handle, and you try not to cry. You break out in random sweats while studying for the final you must pass and stage one-reappears.

But, instead of sinking back into finals depression, you grab another Monster and stage two comes back to play. As your motivation creeps up and the sun rises, you realize your final is only a few hours away. All of a sudden, stage four is here...

Step 4: Acceptance

You have accepted your fate. Whether you are extremely prepared because you made it through all the stages successfully or you have accepted that failing isn’t really failing since you tried, it all comes down to your acceptance that, eventually, you must take this terrible final, and there will be an outcome, whether it be good or bad.

As a five-year veteran in the finals game, I say with certainty that this is the best, most important step in your finals week. Don’t let one small test psych you out (unless you need to make an A to pass, then by all means go ham).

Keeping calm and making sure you are retaining the information you need to use, rather than just skimming and saying small prayers while doing so, will get you through it.

Finals week is a small piece of hell that most must endure at some point, but it’s all good. Chug your Red Bull, take your time and may the multiple choice odds be ever in your favor.