Why is it that the word “finals” makes students freak? Temple should just come up with a term that is not so intimidating to mark end of semester exams. The tests could be renamed “one last annoying thing to study for right before the summer starts.” Yeah, that might be a difficult label to fit on a syllabus, but it would sure make me feel better.
If you really think about it, finals are a small form of torture, and students say nothing. I really think that the entire week of finals is a huge plot by professors to study students’ stress threshold. “Let’s make Mary take five exams in one week, two on the same day, one right after another and see how she reacts. Will she crack?” they wonder. It’s like a freak experiment.
Students live on coffee and no sleep and are still expected to perform well. Who the hell came up with this concept? I know I always do better on tests with the caffeine shakes and sleep deprivation. My hand can barely stay straight on the paper and my eyes need a toothpick or two just to stay open. I mean, if the exam was on the back of my eyelids I would do great, but unfortunately technology has not advanced that far.
And what’s with cramming? It’s more likely that you would find $100 on the street than it is to find a seat in the library. Trying to get a computer to do a paper? Don’t count on it. You could probably get the paper done quicker if you etched it into a stone tablet. There should be a time limit or, like, a deli-number counter to regulate computer usage. “OK John, your hour on the terminal is complete. Now serving number 21,” could be announced.
I started using deceptive ways to work around the crowds. Now, I bring a blow-up doll that looks like me just so I don’t lose my seat. I get up to go to the bathroom and place Julie Jr. in my chair. Sure people think I’m weird, but not one person sits at my computer while I’m gone. I also sit with random people when I need a place to study. For some reason people find it acceptable to take up an entire table for themselves. So, I am that girl who just sits down with them. Of course they look at me like I am a dork, especially when I sit my blow-up doll down too, but I need to study just like everyone else.
Along with your look-alike blow-up doll, I recommend bringing a pillow with you to the library. Why leave Paley and have to deal with the hassle of finding somewhere to sit the next day? Just sleep there. The people who make the library hours want you to stay there. During finals, the Paley Library turns into the Paley Sleep Inn, open 24 hours a day. I even think they turn the reference desk into a check-in counter. So, make your reservations today while there is still space available.
Here’s the tip: cram it up, get to the library early and don’t move. Be that bump on a log and study hard. It’ll all be over soon.
Julie Crist can be reached at email@example.com