Confession: Finals Week is My Favorite
Now don’t go yelling at me just yet. Hear me out. I dislike taking finals as much as the next yahoo, but I can’t get enough of finals week itself. Imagine a time when all of your friends are close by, study breaks are many and encouraged, and the parade of coffee, desserts, and junk food is endless. Welcome to finals week.
As a senior HOD major, it was no surprise to me that most of my classes this semester did not have a traditional final exam scheduled. Instead, many of my classes had final presentations, papers, or 104-PAGE MARKETING PLANS due (more on that later). This is because the nature of my major demands written analysis and the application of coursework that can’t be measured easily via scantron or blue book. The one real final I took was for my Intro to American Sign Language course, one of my favorite classes I’ve taken at Vanderbilt. I met one-on-one with my professor to be tested on the signs I learned, and it was actually a blast. We ended up chatting for 30ish minutes afterward about the deaf community in Chicago, which is apparently thriving. Having the opportunity to take a final and get it over with was somewhat refreshing to me after wading through a college career of mostly group projects.
The best part about finals week is that food-laden study breaks abound. VSG and the Honor Council team up to give out free Chick-Fil-A sandwiches to students in the libraries, there are doughnut study breaks in Featheringill, and the Baptist Collegiate Ministry at Vanderbilt Place gave me a finals care package again this year. BCM care packages are the best because they contain heaps of candy, a Starbucks Mocha Frappuccino drink, chips, and usually an encouraging note that your parents sent from home!
During finals time, it is acceptable to wear the same outfit for days on end and forego showering if need be. I’m not saying that I’ve done this…but I did end up pulling a real all-nighter last week with my dear friend and Advanced Marketing partner Jodi in order to finish up our Integrated Marketing Plan. So I’ll let you be the judge of that.
Though it can be daunting as a student to be faced with finals and projects that make up large percentages of final grades, at some point you realize that everyone is in the same boat.
Everyone has classes they haven’t been paying enough attention in or some procrastination technique they employee often (like starting a new TV series on Netflix…like Gilmore Girls…whoops). Professors are understanding of the chaos of finals week and will hear you out if some circumstance has led you to ask for an extension on a paper or assignment. People are open and willing to give out hugs, most likely because they need hugs themselves. Something I like to do is calculate how much my GPA will change if I do poorly on my final assignments. Here’s a hint: very very little. There is something extremely comforting about seeing how little my big worries about tests and assignments play into the big picture of my GPA or even my life in general.
Finals may be important, but they aren’t the most important. Being around friends who love me and at a school where my mental stability is prioritized over academic perfection is where finals week truly shines at Vandy.