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Surviving finals week: Remaining calm during my first finals season

There are hardly any days left in the semester, but somehow, I’m still under the illusion that I have an infinite amount of time to study for finals, I can put off studying for a few days and I can catch up on sleep instead. It’s strange. 

Even though I’m a freshman about to experience college finals for the first time, I don’t feel the panic of it – at least not yet. 

I’m not sure how I should feel at the moment, but I’m hoping to find a productive state of mind between nervous breakdown and blithe serenity.

I’ve taken difficult tests before – AP exams and my high school finals were no walk in the park – but I am so nervous that college finals will be an entirely different game. I did well in high school and always tried my best, but I avoided making grades the focus of my whole life. 

I compartmentalized, restricting my thoughts of school to when I was physically in school or when I had assignments to work on. 

By separating my school life from the other facets of my life, I retained some degree of happiness. 

If I thought about school all the time I might have gone insane.

But the thing about college is that since I live in a dorm, it is harder to separate school from everything else. I am here all the time; there is no “home” to go to at night where my mom, dad and I can have a nice family dinner and chat about our day. 

School is my life now, a terrifying statement in itself, and I have to learn to accept that rather than block it out of my mind. If I tried to forget about school now, while I’m here, I would probably wake up one morning and forget where I am – not that this hasn’t happened already. I need to find another way to deal with my newfound scholarly stress.

At the moment, I’ve devised my own method of getting through finals slog, a revolutionary idea (at least for me): not procrastinating. 

I have to spread all of my work out over a period of days so that it doesn’t all pile up and become some suffocating burden. 

Hopefully I can muster the motivation to not procrastinate, and if I can manage that, I’ll be able to get through finals intact and without any violent bouts of anxiety.

I have no clue what I’m doing, but I’m improvising my way to an A. Maybe I’m naive for thinking that I can study for finals and simultaneously find some ways to savor life, but there’s something to this balancing act idea. 

If I just manage my time well and study like hell, maybe finals will be all right. Maybe I’ll zip through them like a shooting star. Or maybe I’ll procrastinate and crash and burn.

Senior send-off: Our responsibility as writers

Senior send-off: Our responsibility as writers

Surviving finals week: Drawing finals confidence from past experiences