Harry Potter and the Finals Week from Hell

It’s Saturday. You’re curled up on the couch at home on Thanksgiving break, slowly waning your way off of Thursday’s food coma, when you realize that you have about 2 papers, 3 tests, and a presentation as soon as you get back:


Let’s face it: finals week is supposed to be hell—the name says it all. So while it’s all fine and dandy when one of your professors makes a major assignment due the week before to lessen the load of finals week, it’s not so effective when all of your other professors adopt the same idea. You start hyperventilating as a wave of panic comes about you, reaching for the nearest paper bag you can find. It’s a scene of total chaos; your mom comes into the room and is all:


And you realize you’re acting completely ridiculous. “Okay,” you tell yourself, “calm down. This shouldn’t be too bad, right? I got this. I got this. I’ve done this before. It’s just a test. ”


You then try to sit yourself down and figure out a study preparation schedule. You pine through your planner, text everyone you know, scour the archives of your email inbox, and slop together a plan. But there’s always that sliver of cognitive dissonance…


Trying to ignore those qualms, you instead take another deep breath and exhale. Silence is a virtue for you, and it’s imperative for your plan to go swimmingly. You need to concentrate. You decide that this is essentially what it’s going to come down to:


The week progresses a little, and you’ve settled into a study groove. But then you take a glance around the atrium of Farrell and, all of a sudden, see a significant vacancy. You check your watch and see that it’s 5 minutes shy of 3 AM. Your loyal study buddy is dead from exhaustion, so she leaves. You look longingly at your friend, identifying with her on so many levels and reminding yourself:


You decide you really can’t keep your eyes open any longer, drop everything, and decide to go home. You’re so delirious; it’s a fumbling struggle to unlock your door.



Your alarm is even more painful at a mere 3 hours of sleep, but you pull yourself out of bed as best as you can, begrudgingly toss some clothes on, and plop into the Starbucks line to get an espresso to hopefully take the edge off. However, you’ve consumed so much of it at this point that it goes down more like that time you took your first shot of alcohol or when your mom forced cherry cough syrup upon you as a child instead of being a beautiful, warm, mocha-java embrace:


While you wait for coffee to kick in, you sit in the library, hoping to be motivated but instead are playing face hockey with your Thinkpad keys like:


Finally, your study group arrives at your table to help keep you awake. Unanimously, you all find that each of you has a few questions that need to be answered by the professor A.S.A.P. You go to your e-mail to draft up the list when you see an e-mail from said professor notifying the class of a minor change to the study material. Reading further, you see words like, “cumulative,” and “specific details” jumbling together at the forefront of your brain and all you want to do is reply:


Suddenly, opportunity knocks in the form of a beautiful study guide that sits in the third row back. Said classmate sees you and your crew internally (and, let’s be real, externally) freaking out about this news, when he says, “Hey! I have a bomb-ass study guide I can send to you that would be really helpful!” You can’t help yourself but grovel, like:


Despite this overwhelming joy, you have an itch you can’t quite scratch. You decide it’s definitely, 100% due to pure, raw hangriness. When you finally find the chance to catch a meal, brief as it is, you overhear people in the grill line at the New Pit bragging about their breeze of a week. You’re like:


When you really just wanna turn around and:


Rolling your eyes, you return to your “quiet” corner in the New Pit. As you try to juggle chewing food while scrolling through your notes for a last minute review, you suddenly hear the music switch abruptly from the soft, melodic croons of Sam Smith to “Work Bitch” by Britney Spears. You’re about to lose it, to a point where you’re about to explode like:


Britney’s great, but there’s a time and place for it, dammit! You check your phone to see you have approximately 7 minutes to sprint over to the Mag quad to take your first (early-assigned) exam. All the while, you picture your professors huddling together around a circle being all:


(Uh, you guys. We aren’t imagining anything.)

~1 hour later~


And it was one of those tests that you have absolutely no idea if it was a total success or a complete wipeout. (Definitely something your father is gonna have to hear about later.) Your friend asks you if you’re okay and the only way you can explicate yourself is:


You look towards the library, think better of it than to drop yourself into a cesspool of stress, and meander all the way back to Farrell. Still looking for a change of pace, you hike the stairs to the second, “quiet” floor. “Ah,” you say to yourself, “this is perfect. I have a pretty view of campus for inspiration but it’s less social than the atrium.” WRONG.


All of a sudden, a gaggle of giddy girls take over one of the long tables and use it as an opportunity to loudly exchange gossip and details of drama that happened two weeks ago. You want to be the sasshole that you are and make a total scene of taking out one of your earbuds, looking the girls dead in the eyes, and saying:


While that idea seems totally brilliant, you realize it’s against your better judgment. You are v annoyed, but you keep on truckin’. That is, until you hear one of them proclaim that she’s still planning on ~le turning up~ for three nights. It’s a total waste of time to throw shade, you decide, so all you can do is think to yourself,


~4 hours and a dinner of 1 granola bar and a cheesestick later~

“You know what? It’s freakin’ Thursday,” you tell yourself. You know you can’t budge from your spot unless it’s to sprint to the bathroom, but you look begrudgingly at your water bottle wishing you could just:


However, you resist: You’re straddling the borderline in a few of your classes, and all you can hear echoing through your head is your mom, saying:


~The next day~

Your group presents, another exam goes by, and you’re preparing for the final stretch. You check your planner to see what’s next and realize you have two major assignments left…but within rapid sequence of each other. Thankfully, your prof is offering a review session. As she goes over problems with the others who showed up, she can tell there’s still waves of mass confusion. When she suggests offering the exam at a different time, everyone is all:


~2 days later~

It’s the final stretch. You’ve reminded yourself every day,


With that mantra in mind, you stride as confidently as you can into your very last exam. 2.5 hours later, you leave the classroom resembling:


But then, upon realizing you’re a hundo p donezo, all you want to do is streak the Quad, running around like a madman á la Macauly Culkin in Home Alone:


You are on cloud 9 and need to get TF home ASAP, but first: food.


After eating your feelings, you sprint back to your apartment. You hastily shove as many totally necessary winter clothes and unnecessary summer clothes you forgot to take home into your suitcase and overnight bags. You clear out your fridge, hoping you didn’t forget anything. The goal now, for you, is to get. your ass. home. because:


For now, the semester is over. Let the Winter Break festivities commence!



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