Without a doubt, the month of December is one of the most stressful times to be a college student. Finals, group papers, 10-page essays you didn’t realize you had – they all combine at one horrific, magical time, creating the perfect storm that is finals week. And oh my god, it sucks.
But it’s not all bad.
I dread finals week just as much as the next guy. I’ve spent my fair share of time crying in the library while simultaneously studying for an exam, eating my Einstein’s bagel, finding the perfect pair of underwear for Undie Run, all while writing an essay about the Iranian Nuclear Crisis. I’ve pulled all-nighters studying for a test I’m never going to be ready for. Finals week is the worst and the entire week, I’m just wishing I could be taking a nap.
But as much as I hate final’s week, I kind of like it, too.
There’s something bonding about the shared stress that everyone else is experiencing. There’s something truly unique about all of us panicking at the same time. I don’t know if it’s morbid to say, but at least I know I’m not the only one who’s having a difficult time getting through finals without having a meltdown.
I love that it becomes socially acceptable to wear sweats on campus. I love that it’s suddenly OK to look like garbage. I love that everyone else is just as stressed as I am. It’s like, if I have to suffer through this, at least everyone else does too. We can come together for this one month to complain together.
And then there’s Undie Run. If you would have told me in high school that I’d be running around half-naked in 50-degree weather, I’d have called you crazy. But look at me now. Undie Run is such a uniquely weird experience that I wouldn’t give up. I love that our campus joins together, ignoring all responsibilities so that we may run around and have a good time. Even though there are those creepy men with iPads and the occasional protestors, it’s a time to let loose and come together. And I love that.
Plus, as horrible as finals are, they signal that we’re almost done. We’re almost headed home for a well-deserved break; we’re almost to the finish line. If we can push through this one week of misery, we can reward ourselves by sleeping for the next three weeks straight. There’s a light at the end of this dark, dark tunnel. And that light is rewatching Hannah Montana while gaining 10 pounds in holiday meals at home. So even though they’re brutal at the time, it’s so rewarding when they’re finished.
Finals are unifying. Despite the controversy on campus this past semester, we have finals to bond us. Every week there’s been a new breaking story, a new debate. But for this one week, we can come together to defeat the ultimate enemy: finals.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a Republican or a Democrat, a business student or a Dodge student. It doesn’t matter if you’re the biggest frat bro or the person who sells ceramics in the Attallah Piazza. Everyone is stressed together. Everyone is miserable together. And I think that’s kind of beautiful.