College Life: Finals week an opportunity for solidarity

By Toni Pennello - [email protected]

The dreaded finals week is upon us.

This is the time of year when every student understands what every other student is going through. No one asks “how are you?” in the usual way. Every “how are you?” has a connotation of sympathy. “How are you?” really means “are you OK?”

It is the time of year when no one even bats an eye at you when you’re looking at pictures of baby farm animals on a much coveted library computer. Everyone understands. In fact, you may have just inspired a new coping mechanism for them.

I recommend videos of baby pigs, by the way … not that I would know.

I mentioned in a recent column that I have lucked out in a tremendous way through the years, with no mandatory cumulative finals that I can remember (it should be noted that if I don’t remember, it likely was not a traumatic experience).

My finals weeks have always been unbearable for different reasons, namely, the menacing triple P’s: presentations, projects and papers.

Well, I’ve surely had my fair share of those, and continue to, but the fact that my luck has run dry regarding cumulative finals does not help the situation.

I don’t usually have test anxiety (see my column from many months back about what test anxiety does to scores). But I am starting to sweat a little bit.

And to think, for nearly four years I’ve been cool as a cucumber when it comes to exams. I’ve stressed enough about everything else to last a lifetime, but I always evaded serious test anxiety. With less than 15 days before graduation, this is happening now.

I’m almost tempted to pull an all-nighter (gasp) to study.

Will I miss this particular feeling? No. I absolutely, 110 percent will not. But it is nice knowing that at least all of my classmates are on the same page as me, and gee, so are most of the folks at other schools.

In the coming weeks, you will seldom come across any group of college students whose appearance does not make you fear for the imminent start of the zombie apocalypse. Believe it or not, that’s kind of comforting.

May that sense of camaraderie get us all through this.

By Toni Pennello

[email protected]

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

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