maybe all one can do is hope to end up with the right regrets. -arthur miller



Finals are a strange time. The main thing to know is that everyone, I mean everyone, is stressed out. Classes end and it's this great rush-- you feel like you've accomplished something, lived through something.

And then you realize that you have 36 pages to write and three exams to take in the next nine days.

So you're on this rush of classes being over, which quickly becomes a comfy slump. In your head it's something like this: "No papers due for three days, no exams for four. Time to obliterate all knowledge gained this semester! Who's up for a movie? How 'bout three movies? With an option for two more." One night Krystle, Will, and I went to see the new Pride and Prejudice, and then came home and watched the whole BBC series. Nine hours well spent.

You can see the panic coming down the road, the sleepless week ahead, but still you resist getting a head start on things. That's just not how it's done. But suddenly you have an exam tomorrow and hellooo, due dates! And everything goes into hyperdrive. Away messages are all fatalistic hyperbole, all dismal page counts and countdowns to exams like they're missile launches. The pile of stuff to read, stuff to write, stuff to study, is so high you can barely see your TV, which is playing the fourteenth episode of Sex and the City you've watched that day, because, well, the library had it and if it's from the library it's like doing work, and maybe I can write a few pages more tonight if I just watch the episode where Miranda and Steve get back together and....you get the idea.

Procrastination becomes an art form, practically a zen thing. You can rationalize anything. We sit in the dining hall for two hours every night, having cereal AND dessert, because it's finals, goddamnit. Calories don't count if they're ingested while studying. Or thinking about studying.

Sometime midweek days lose their actual names, it's just "two days 'til poli sci is due", then "day before physics exam". Those might be synonyms. You haven't showered since...that day the dining hall had Lucky Charms. Yesterday? Three days ago? You are most definitely out of clean socks. Study group after review session after night in the library after study group, interspersed with midnight trips to Dunkin' Donuts and discussions about how screwed you all are.

And then it's over. The bio exam ends and you walk outside and remember what sunlight is. You do laundry, go out for one last dinner all together before the Dish and Jen go abroad. You really have accomplished something. You lived through finals with with your sanity more or less intact.

At least 'til next time.


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