Column: In the grand scheme, this week will seem a distant (but terrible) one

Katie Smith, Online Editor

This week and next we will review our one five-subject notebook with half-hearted scribbles about Nabokov and log rhythms and have moments of epiphany when we think, “What am I even studying anymore?” And the answer of course, is always either everything or nothing. We are either earning three minors, a double major with concentrations in each or spending our semesters in bowling and Introduction to Law and Order SVU (which incidentally meets every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 1 a.m. on my couch.)

Whether or not you are actively studying everything or nothing at all, if you feel unprepared for your finals and time is running out, don’t despair.

From now until the end of the semester people will feed you lies about how it is important to get a full night’s sleep and relax during study breaks. These people are conspiring against you and they do not want to you to succeed.

If you are nervous about your finals it is important to stay in that frame of mind. Don’t talk yourself down from that headspace. Don’t plan some cacophony study schedule that would have been effective if you stayed in every Saturday and reviewed your notes and read ahead. You didn’t do that. It’s time to stock up on caffeine during the day and put it to good use at night.

Staying awake for two days straight has already been proven to me this week as a terrible decision, but I would never dream of not preparing for finals week as though I had a test in a class I have never been to. The second you get too comfortable, you think you know more than you actually do. If you usually study at home, go somewhere else. Strangers will not let you off easily for procrastinating the way you do at home, in public. There are no boxes of bagel chips to eat your feelings with at the library.

Don’t do all your studying alone. Even if you feel like you are fitting quality library time into your schedule visit your professors’ office hours and study with a group of people from class. As much as I wish it did, filling out a study guide does not count as studying, and those answers you came up with are no good if they are all terribly and humorously wrong.   

There have been moments this semester where I sincerely thought I was going to have a heart attack from the amount of work to be done. At this point more than ever you will want to listen to the propaganda people have been feeding you about sleeping well and eating right, and the next time you open a book you might tear up a little with self-loathing and regret.

At this point all you really need is a power nap and a little tough love. Just do it. Just study. Just write your paper. Everyone is nervous and we’ve all begun to accidentally develop really questionable sleeping patterns. That take home final doesn’t have to be the most brilliant thing you’ve ever written, but it needs to be finished, so just do it and get it over with. And then when it’s finished and you’ve passed, remember you have a month off.

Caffeinate, stay up late, push through and then repress it deep into the confines of your memory, and 20 years from now realize that this one week hardly mattered at all.

Katie Smith is a senior journalism major and can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]