Kate McCabe / Gavel Media

Diatribe: Finals SZN

As someone who has cried about six times a day since Easter break, it is safe to say that finals season is upon us.

This past week, class attendance has skyrocketed. Seats are now hard to come by in lecture halls that were once no more than two-thirds full on a good day; everyone wants to see how much material they’ll need to memorize in the coming days in order to pass their finals. Study days do not officially start until Friday, one day after the notorious CAB Modstock, but until then we are overwhelmed with group projects and final presentations. Every day students wearing sport coats and khakis and skirts and blouses can be spotted on campus. Around Fulton, you will probably see full suits and pumps, because those kids live for one-upping each other. The worst thing I have witnessed all week was a group of girls presenting wearing—get this—MATCHING OUTFITS. Wild.

If you’re “lucky” enough to be in the same situation as me, you are currently drowning in work because your professors decided to be “kind” enough to schedule the final exam on the last day of classes.

I see nails being chewed to the point of bleeding. I see people picking at their skin with bags under their eyes. I see an endless Snapchat and Instagram stories of people pulling all-nighters in O’Neill. I see people on the verge of crying. I see heads down on desks as students try to catch 20 minutes of sleep before they have to wake up and grind again. We are all suffering. A collective groan can be heard throughout campus because we know it’s only going to get worse from here.

During finals week, the libraries will be flooded with people and it will be impossible to find a seat after 10 AM. This school is full of competitive, type-A neurotics. We want so badly to succeed, even if it means catching up on an entire semester of work in two nights. Failure is not an option. The pressure that this institution puts on its students should be illegal. CSOM students need to do their absolute best because their grades are so heavily inflated that there is no other option but to get an A in order to remain top of the class, if that matters to you; meanwhile, MCAS kids are struggling to attain a B.

While all of this may overwhelm you, I’ve come to the conclusion that none of it really matters. Your mental health is more important than your GPA—honestly, anything is probably more important than your GPA—and it’s not worth sacrificing your personal well-being to cry into your econometrics textbook. When it comes to getting a job, employers want to see a student who is well-rounded, not a snob who finessed straight A’s but forgot to develop a personality. (P.S., Robots don’t meet the “cultural fit” requirement.) Do the best that you can, obviously. Don’t take this message as advice to do nothing, but do not push yourself to the edge either. Moderation is key.

Speaking of moderation, just because you put in so much work during the school week does not mean that it is healthy to binge drink as a “reward for your efforts.” Maybe take a nice walk or something, don’t be an idiot. Unless of course, you are a senior. In that case, live your best life until you get the hell out of here.

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