It won't be soon enough that I can forget the sting of finals week -- until the unhealthy, exhaustive amount of unslept nights and Adderall binges wear off. I can remember it distinctly, hunched over in the library, buzzed on caffeine and academic performance-enhancing drugs that made studying... not fun, but more than bearable. I remember the stress, the knots that configured and contorted in my stomach as I sat outside the assigned classroom, just waiting to get it over with. It wasn't until my senior year that I realized an important truth that I wish I came across long ago: finals really don't matter.
Of course your finals matter in a small sense of the world. You probably should get a college degree, and that would require passing, so you can't just fail everything. But you can get C's. Whoever said anything was wrong with being average? But in the grand scheme of life, as long as your finals don't make you fail out of college, there is really no way they will have any impact on your life down the road.
Some of you wise asses out there are probably thinking, "Yea, well it affects your GPA, which affects your first job out of college..." and to you I say, no it doesn't! Unless you're studying to be a doctor or a lawyer (and if this is the case, you shouldn't even have time to be reading our site right now) there is no way your GPA is going to directly affect your first job -- because here's a little secret -- it's all about who you know.
That's right, it's all about connections, connections, connections. In the world of seven billion people, there is absolutely no shot that you won't get hired because your GPA is .4 points lower than the next guy. You are going to get hired because your parents' friend owes them a favor or because they think you're up for the job, not because you got an 87 on your American Lit final your sophomore year of college.
Life is about how you play the game. It's about your perseverance, drive and creativity. It's about how you get along with people, how you find opportunities and make connections. Because the real world doesn't give a sh*t about your grades, or how well you did on that Calc final.
There is no use giving yourself an aneurism over something you won't remember next week, let alone 10 years from now. Stop thinking that this one grade, this one test, decides your entire future, because it doesn't. It's a tiny blip on the course of your life and the stress you are giving yourself over it will probably cause more harm to your future than this one exam (ever heard of an ulcer?).
So as you're preparing for finals week, currently completing them or just finished and too scared to go online to look at your scores, do not fret. Do not fret because in the grand scheme of life, your finals really don't matter. And if you still aren't convinced, still worried about your 10 am exam, here's a comprehensive list of reasons you really shouldn't worry:
All You're Really Testing Is Your Ability To Get Adderall
If only you could tell your teacher that it's not your fault you couldn't get any 20 milligrams.
You Won't Remember It Tomorrow
You just crammed a semester's worth of information into one night of studying, that sh*t is gone and so should your memory of the final, because it's not important anymore.
There's Always Community College
Unless you're already there, then you need to work a little harder.
You Can Always Cry To Your Professor
Ah, the crying technique. It's saved for the desperate, but sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do. Even if that means groveling.
You Could Be Dead
It's all about perspective. Is a failed final really worse than death? Count your blessings and move on.
Cheating Is Easy
Come on, when worst comes to worst, you practice the art of manipulation and scheming, which is way more important in the real world than Pavlov's theories and destiny.
There's Always An Excuse
You've had it rough. Late nights, long classes, work study: there are a million excuses in the book, just pick one and try to get those few extra points from a sympathizing professor.