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Final Thoughts on Finals Week

I’m about to embark on my last finals week, possibly ever, definitely the last at Doane. As I plan for the week ahead, I’ve realized nothing is ever consistent about the way I prepare.

Some students have a specific study spot where they listen to specific music and study in a specific order or way. I don’t have any of that.

I’ve tried studying in the library during finals week, but I’m too distracted by all of the strangers who have barely slipped out of their dorm rooms all semester. I’m convinced many of them transferred to Doane just before finals week to confuse the rest of us who have been devoted to academics all year.

Common Grounds provides the same problem. Although both the library and Common Grounds offer the constant supply of coffee that I need to function during the week, there are too many unique faces to focus on my learning.

I often study for about an hour in each of these places before returning to my room where it is quiet and distraction-free. In years past this decision has resulted in one of two situations. I either have consumed a couple of gallons of coffee during the day and can whip out my research papers in a matter of hours (although the caffeine makes my hands shake which results in an increased amount of typos), or I haven’t had nearly enough coffee and my bed is more alluring than the books.

After multiple location changes, hours spent procrastinating, and dozens of empty junk food containers, I typically am able to be productive enough (in five-minute increments) to accomplish all the tasks on my to-do list.

My strategy may be much different than most, but in the end we will all survive and celebrate with the start of summer vacation.

For those of us who will be graduating, summer vacation may mean different things. Some have found jobs in education and will have a traditional summer vacation. Others will be relaxing or working until the start of graduate classes in the fall.

Like many of my classmates, I will be moving back into my parents’ house until I find employment. Finals week may be the most stressful part of the school year, but I imagine the real test is yet to come.