Going into finals for the end of my junior year, I realized I have relaxed a lot since I was a freshman. Since then, I realized that even if you don’t over-prepare and over-stress, you’ll still do just fine. It’s a lot more fun, and there’s more wine. This is how you should be tackling exams.
3 Weeks Before Finals
Exam schedules are released. Craft a color-coordinated board to hang in your room, including the chapters to be covered on each exam, due dates for remaining assignments, and the time and place of each final. As is necessary with all things, be sure to add some sparkle. Then, stare at the board for two and a half weeks, letting your work pile up, and your anxiety levels rise. At least it looks pretty, and anyone who sees it will think you’re super organized.
2 Weeks Before Finals
Cross-reference your planner with the board. It is now close enough to finals that you can write the dates of your exams in your planner without fear of having to cover it up with a sticker or white it out because your professor changed the schedule. Write in all hair, nail, and facial appointments for the next two weeks. Don’t forget your standing lunch date on Thursdays with your sisters, or the lunch you keep rescheduling with that girl you studied abroad with two semesters ago. Now is the perfect time to follow through on that one. Now you know exactly when you will have time to study, so that you can get the most out of your schedule.
1 1/2 Weeks Before Finals
You have yet to accomplish anything on your to-do list, except that nail appointment. Upon hearing that the season finale of 90210 is airing, you decide to watch the first episode, just to see what it’s about. Continue to get through a season and a half over the course of four days before you realize you’re twenty-one years old, watching a show about a girl who’s main stressor is whether or not she’ll get her driver’s license. You have a week and a half before you become a senior, which means there is a week and a half before your big graduates. Now’s a good time to craft something for her, and open up a box of wine.
1 Week Before Finals
You have had a lot of time for self-reflection while staring at those books. You realized you don’t talk to your mom enough, or your dad, or your little brother. You’re now even more aware that 14-year-olds are not what they used to be. It makes you feel better that you didn’t know anyone sexting at that age, and also terrified for these kids to go to college one day. You’re room is also sparkling clean right now. The only dirty laundry that exists is from the spin class you went to this morning, because there is always time for a workout. You’ve also crafted handmade cards and picture frames for your big, little and grand-little, because you’re cute like that. No one can figure out how you have time for it all. Hint: you usually cut into whatever time you’d allotted for studying.
5 Days Before Finals
Now it’s really time to work. You need to hit up that Starbucks drive-thru, pop an addy and spend a full day in the library. Once you shower, blow out your hair, put on your makeup and find an outfit with the appropriate level of effort for this time of year, you’re ready to go. Your study session goes great. You cross a bunch of things off your board, and as an added bonus, the guy in your accounting class you’ve been secretly pining for sits next to you. In trying to impress him by pretending to have your shit together, you actually kind of get your shit together. It is now justifiable to go to happy hour. After all, you go every week, and you’re nothing if not consistent.
The Weekend Before Finals
There’s still a lot of studying to be done, but there’s also only so much time left to hang out with all your sisters before you all leave for the summer. Somehow, senioritis has come a year early and there’s no way you can miss this last weekend. Come Friday night, you put on the cutest outfit you can find, and spend the rest of the weekend pretty and plastered all over town. You don’t regret it at all, not even a little bit.
Hole up in your room and shift your attention, cyclically from Facebook, to Twitter, to tumblr, to TSM, to your notes. Calculate every single grade possibility for each of your classes and realize you won’t actually fail. It always works out in the end.