As Grades Pour In: What Makes Finals Different?

As my grades pour in, I find myself looking back at this past semester and asking a giant WTF!

From the end of August till the first week of December, there wasn’t a moment I didn’t find myself on the brink of exhaustion from overload.

Whether it’s the unending assault of papers that is the life of a senior, or all extra-curricular activities I took place in.  Every week was a struggle.

Then a funny thing happened.  I watched as every social-media site I frequent became bogged down by the same topic—finals.

I understand that it’s a stressful time for everyone.  But why is it that every semester people flip out and act like the only way to survive is on a steady diet of whatever Chinese food restaurant they order from and the astronomical amount of caffeine they ingest over the one to two week period.

And this is where that big ole WTF comes in.

All semester long, it’s common practice to put everything off till the last minute, knock it out the night before and then report your hard earned grade to the masses.  So what changes?  We’re given a week off to study, and then the exams are spaced out over another week or so.  How is this any different from the third week in October?

For my finals, I was assigned three papers, varying in length from seven pages, up to ten.  I also had two tests consisting of five and seven questions respectively, that each required a roughly one-page response per question.  And you know what?  I walked away from this semester with three B’s and two A’s.  Guess how much I stressed out?

I’m not saying that finals aren’t a big deal, I’m saying that most people generally make them out to be a bigger deal than they should be.

I’ve never been in a class where a final was weighted more than anything else I had done so far, so why put it on a pedestal it doesn’t deserve to be on.

In reality, I’m willing to bet that the stress most people feel at the end of the semester has less to do with finals than it does their overall grade.  I don’t even know the last time I found out what I got on a final.  I just do it, turn it in and wait for my grades to update on my schools website.

I think knowing you could have given more of yourself than you probably did is something everyone feels.  And in that sense I get trying to go out with a bang, if for no other reason to prove you can.

Because realistically, your final grade has been decided and that last test or paper isn’t going to do much anyways.



Jeffrey Giorgi | Bright Futura Contributor


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