College Life: Weeks leading to final exams stressful in their own right

By Toni Pennello - [email protected] | December 2nd, 2017 6:00 am

What could be worse than finals week?

The weeks leading up to finals week.

And it’s not just because of the unreasonable amount of studying that must be done. It’s also crunch time.

Professors assign papers and projects throughout the whole semester. Usually, they’re fairly spread out. When there are three at once, you complain, because it’s a lot.

But then it’s the end of the semester, and you have a final project due for every single class, all at around the same time. What’s worse, final projects are almost globally the biggest, most exacting projects of the semester — and worth the most points too.

Let’s be real; at least one project is going to end up not turning out quite as good as the others. Not terrible, perhaps, but we’ve all handed in something we were just short of being proud of for the sake of getting to everything else we had to do. Or, worse, every project turns out half-good, because none of them got any special attention.

How do you decide where to focus most of your attention?

Sometimes it’s an easy choice. For me, presentations always get my utmost attention for the sole reason that if those aren’t good, I have the potential to embarrass myself. Handing in a paper that’s a page short is wildly different than stuttering in front of a room full of your classmates. But maybe that’s just my fear of public speaking talking.

What if it isn’t so easy? Do you focus most on the project that is most fun? Or the one worth the most points? How do you get the most out of this decision?

I don’t think the weeks leading up to finals week get enough attention. At least everyone acknowledges how stressful finals week is: There are always “study break” programs at Wilkes meant to let students blow off some steam with free food.

Where’s my pre-finals-week study break? Free pizza and ice cream sound awesome.

Being as close to graduation as I am, I need to keep reminding myself how many times I’ve been through this — and that I lived every time.

Every end-of-the-semester rush feels like the worst one yet. But not one of them has made me fail a class, and not one of them has killed me. It will all be over soon, and as long as I don’t give up, everything will be just fine.

By Toni Pennello

[email protected]

Toni Pennello is a Wilkes University senior who works in the Times Leader newsroom.