“F” is For Finals

Writer –  Kennedy Ryder

We have all been there, in fact, many of us are there right now. You step onto campus and you can feel it in the air, the stress, caffeine, and sleep-deprived induced haze your fellow students are stumbling around in. What day is it? Is Obama still president? Wait, is that throw up on my sweatshirt?

You always knew your roommate got queasy when she was nervous.

Naturally, I did what any hard hitting, investigative journalist like myself would do (I confess, I just want to be Rachel Maddow), I asked for comment from my classmates.

“It’s no different than any other week, I just feel like I have less assignments and it’s a lot less stressful than a normal week. I go through my papers and find stuff from earlier in the semester, look over them for a little bit and make sure everything is fresh in my mind, and then take the test. No biggie”

W-what? This SHOCKED me. To my classmate, finals week wasn’t a constant rotation between studying, taking a “quick break to watch just one more episode of Parks and Rec”, realizing you spent 4 hours watching Parks and Rec, studying some more while inhaling Ramen noodles and Cheeto puffs, then crying because the material makes no sense and there’s no WAY the professor went over this in class, and then falling asleep using the bag of Cheeto puffs as a pillow. Wake up. Repeat.

If you’re anything like me, after you get through seven or eight cycles of the above scenario, it’s time for at least one of your exams. You arise out of your cheeto puff prompted sleep, brush your teeth, put on deodorant, and stumble out the door to what at this point might as well be the gates of hell. You think you hear the “Rocky” music playing in the background to pump you up for the big test, what is that? Eye of the tiger? You chalk it up to a hallucination induced by stress and lack of sleep.

Taking your seat in the hard, cold, chair makes you long for the bag of Cheeto puffs you rested your head on the previous night. The exams are finally passed out, and a bead of sweat collect on your forehead. Pencil in hand, you begin.

Name: Check. I know this one, ha! I’m smart. Next question, yes! I know this one too. You are on fire today. The questions grow increasingly more difficult, and you feel yourself begin to struggle.

Oh no, oh no! You suddenly see your life flash before your eyes. You fail this exam, you’ll fail out of college, you end up working a dead end, low paying job forever. Oh no! What if you lose your dead end, low paying job? What if you can’t pay rent? Oh my god, what if you have to work the streets to pay rent, like in “Pretty Woman”? Except this time Richard Gere doesn’t save you from your street walking lifestyle! You’ll finally get another dead end, low paying job, but no one is going to want to marry a loser like you! Oh, god. Your poor mother, she’ll never get to have grand kids before she dies, or ever. What if you turn fifty and you still have to have a roommate because you never got out of your crummy job? What if your roommate is a creepy guy named Felix, who always smells like expired lunch meat? What if Felix gets a pet rat? And then the pet rat gives you the bubonic plague, but you can’t go to the doctor because your crummy job doesn’t have benefits. You can’t go to the doctor, and you succumb to DEATH BY BUBONIC PLAGUE!

“You have about thirty more minutes to finish the exam” Says Sata- I mean your professor, which snaps you out of the wild ride that was your life if you fail this exam. You take a deep breath, and try to be rational about this. It’s just a test, you have studied and prepared, you know most of the material. Taking deep breaths, you try to relax and carry on with the exam.

Some of the answers start coming to you, you’re almost finished now! You’ve reached the final question. “Name some examples of objects in free fall.” What? No! This wasn’t taught in class; you didn’t study this. The clock keeps ticking, two minutes left.  Hoping the professor has a sense of humor, you scribble down “My GPA”.

Getting your things, the door to outside opens. The fresh, warm, Florida air hits your cheeks. The sunshine is a metaphor for the stress and grayness of finals being over.

At least until next semester.

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