Dec 02, 2011 0 Share

Preparing for Finals


Stressed college student reads book between two stacks of books.
iStockphoto

The end of the semester is drawing near, and I am relieved that my current work schedule will soon be coming to an end, and I will soon be able to relax for a few weeks before my last semester of college begins. 

However, I am dreading the due dates for my various final assignments and the sudden spike in difficulty they have taken. If my college experience as of right now were a baseball game, it would be the bottom of the ninth inning with bases loaded, and I would have to hit a home run to bring everyone in and win.

Up through the Thanksgiving weekend, I did not have too much difficulty with my courses. The only assignment that had required a lot more work than usual was a midterm with two essays. I had to work into the night for several nights in a row in order to get that assignment done, and during this period, my spirits sank lower and lower. I like to get finished with my work earlier in the evening so I can have a little time to unwind, but in order to get the midterm done, I had to stay up past 1:00 a.m. to refine my thoughts and ideas. My misery subsided as soon as I handed the assignment in, but I knew it was only a matter of time before the final exam would be due.

My troubles began once again as Thanksgiving approached. I had a bibliographic essay for a course which was due just before Thanksgiving, and it required considerable work. It had been quite a while since I had done the midterm, so I was caught slightly off guard when I had to work into the late night for two straight nights to complete this assignment. Fortunately, I diligently completed the work and was able to celebrate Thanksgiving with my family, watch the parade on television, and have an entire day without having to worry about college work. It was a great feeling of freedom and relaxation. My family and I made quite the day of it. We visited with both sides of our family and had a great time.

My fun continued over the rest of the Thanksgiving weekend. I still had to do some college work, but the majority of my time was dedicated to doing some fun activities with the rest of my extended family. I went over to my uncle’s house to visit, and I played video games with some of my cousins. I was the lead singer for our “Guitar Hero” band. On Sunday, my family and some of my aunts and uncles headed to a nearby antique show. We stayed for a few hours, and I was able to buy some items which suited my interests, and which I probably would never have known about had I not gone that day. All of these activities were fun diversions for me, and I feel that they were the calm I needed before the new storm of work came.

In the past few days, most of my mirth has faded away because of two different final assignments for two of my courses which have predominated over my regular work. One of them is a final exam, again with two essays due, which requires a lot of work to complete. I had to head out to the college library and a public library near my home a few days ago to collect books which will provide research material for the essays. With the help of the librarian, finding them proved to be a fairly simple endeavor, but I am hoping and praying fervently that I will not have to search through them relentlessly for information only to find that they do not have what I am looking for. When I did the last exam, I ran into this exact same situation and I did not have a lot of time to remedy it. Luckily, I was able to find some different pieces of information in the books which proved to be useful and completed the essays with only hours to spare. I hope that I will have more time to complete the current essays and that the research for them will go more smoothly. It was nerve-racking.

The other assignment is a combination of two different activities. First, I have to write abstracts of two research articles I found on the college library’s database, again, with the help of the librarian. This was particularly interesting because I also learned a new skill since I had never had to use research articles before and had never had to find them. The librarian showed me step-by-step how to access them.

After I write the abstracts, I then have to write a one-page essay on whether I agree or disagree with what one of the articles says. As this is all new to me, I am finding it a bit stressful, but I am pushing forward.

I will spend the last couple of weeks of the semester completing these final exams and assignments. I cannot wait until it will all be done and over with for another semester. I am looking forward to Christmas and relaxing on the college break. For now, I will do the best I can to get through my tough workload and hopefully make it out to the other side with good grades and more knowledge.