There are so many good things that accompany the arrival of April: the weather stops being –30 degrees, your lease ends, and, most importantly, the school year is finally over. But before then, we must face final exams.
I don’t have anything against writing a final exam—obviously I need to prove that I learned something over the course of four months—but I have a huge problem with the way people act at the end of the semester.
At this point in our education, most of us should know how to study, stay organized, and focus on goals during exams. But these days, it seems that more and more students don’t know how to do these things without temporarily losing a bit of their sanity.
Final exams turn students into the worst possible versions of themselves—people who cannot go through a short stressful period without showing signs of jealousy, irritability, selfishness, and a general lack of consideration for fellow human beings.
It is ridiculous the number of times I’ve heard the phrase, “Sorry, I’m just stressed over finals,” used as an excuse for snapping at a friend. Apparently, being stressed gives you free reign to be a total jerk bag.
Irritability is a terrible quality to possess, and anyone who is sleep deprived thinks it’s OK to act like that, especially if you haven’t had any coffee. Grow up, people. Everyone is functioning on less than a recommended amount of sleep and if we can do it while maintaining a little bit of social gravitas, so can you.
Now, think about how you react when you find out your friend got a higher grade in a course you both take. Instead of feeling proud of your friend, chances are you immediately think, “How is that even possible? They didn’t go to class half the time.” We all hear this voice of jealousy loud and clear when we write finals, which speaks volumes about how this exam mentality poisons our minds.
The selfishness put on display during the actual writing of finals is probably the worst thing I’ve seen among my fellow students. If your classmate’s calculator, pencil, or pen is not working during a final and you see them about to break down, do you ask the teacher’s assistant to pass along your extra writing utensils? Based on what I’ve seen, the answer is no. Due to the exam season’s dog-eat-dog survival mentality, most people just keep to themselves and guiltily finish their final. Not cool.
If you are someone who knows how to endure finals season without turning into a jealous, irritable, and selfish bag of nerves, then you have my thanks.
However, if during finals you turn into the typical nail-biting psychopath who is two bubble sheets away from launching a verbal tirade against your friends, then I would recommend that you at least keep it to yourself and try not to annoy the hell out of all the people around you.