There’s a reason Thanksgiving comes before finals — once exams roll around, nobody’s grateful for anything, except sleep.
Yes, finals time brings out the worst in college students, turning us all into bitter old men armed with canes and scowls.
In fact, statistics — that I have completely fabricated — show that cigar and butterscotch sales among college students triple during this time.
The truth is we are all too tired and stressed — and busy rubbing arthritis cream on our hands that have cramped from note taking and angrily shaking our canes — to possibly be thankful.
It is for the best that we are not home during this time, or else one too many “I am thankful fors” would end in “the asparagus, though grossly undercooked, is still edible.” Followed by, of course, “I was trying to be nice.”
Thankfully though, the worst time of the year gives way to the happiest time: the holiday season. After spending late hours at the Glenn G. Bartle Library and getting our nourishment from ramen — and encouragement from the occasional high five — we start to ache for the comforts of home.
And it’s just around the corner. We know that it’s only a matter of weeks before we go home to our families, meet up with the friends that are still cool enough to sled, and play with a newborn baby. (Oh, that’s not everyone?)
Due to the allure of winter festivities, we all struggle to stay focused on our work. Fortunately we can take solace in the fact that exam time and the holidays are not too different. Just like the holiday season, finals time encourages sharing — like luxuries such as misery, coffee and tears.
But seriously, exam week isn’t all bad. Just think about it. When do you feel most relaxed? I doubt it’s after a long spell of idleness.
We all feel at our best after we have suffered through our worst. If we do not make the effort during stressful periods we cannot truly appreciate relaxed times.
You know exactly what I mean. As Binghamton University students, we all attend a “premier public” university, which translates to “a lot of kids trying really hard.” It’s not high school, you can admit to it now, you study. And it feels good.
The reason working hard is satisfying is because of how dissatisfying it is not to work hard. When we slack off, we feel a level of latent stress beneath the surface that festers until we do something about it. And guess what?
Finals time is our chance to change that, even for the most lackadaisical students. But who hasn’t slacked off at some point this semester? All of us have let our laziness build into stress at some point; all of us can use finals to make amends.
Exam week, then, is a friend, not a foe. We should all greet it with open arms and embrace its arrival as a time for second chances. So I hope you all enjoy your stress, all-nighters and cries of anguish because, hey, you deserve it.
‘Tis the season!