Scrolling Headlines:

UMass men’s soccer falls 2-0 vs. Colgate -

August 28, 2016

UMass men’s soccer falls to No. 6 Syracuse in season opener -

August 27, 2016

UMass football boasts young, balanced rushing attack going into 2016 season -

August 9, 2016

UMass football looks to add more size, depth on defensive side heading into 2016 -

August 9, 2016

UMass football gets back in action with start of training camp -

August 9, 2016

UMass football coach Mark Whipple announces Ross Comis as starting quarterback, transfer Andrew Ford close behind -

August 8, 2016

Amherst PD to encourage registering off-campus parties with implementation of Party Smart Registration program -

July 23, 2016

UMass Board of Trustees votes 11-2 to raise tuition and fees an average of 5.8 percent -

July 14, 2016

Mike Stone announces retirement following 2017 season -

July 13, 2016

‘Warcraft’ delivers a likeable mess -

July 5, 2016

Former UMass field hockey coach Carla Tagliente accepts job at Princeton -

June 29, 2016

50 Activists attend meeting as UMass Board of Trustees approves motion of divestment from fossil fuel companies -

June 16, 2016

Four former Minutemen depart from UMass hockey program -

June 14, 2016

Boston Calling 2016 delivers rousing farewell to City Hall Plaza -

June 2, 2016

Sufjan Stevens unearths quirk at Boston Calling -

June 2, 2016

The Collegian live tweets Boston Calling -

May 28, 2016

UMass baseball finishes season with sweep over George Mason -

May 22, 2016

UMass women’s lacrosse falls in NCAA quarterfinal -

May 22, 2016

‘Green Room’ is a bloody blast of survival horror -

May 21, 2016

DaLuz: Boston Celtics stuck trudging in the mud -

May 18, 2016

The last two weeks

Flickr/albertogp123

It’s the last week in November. Can you feel it?

Every day from here on out seems to dial up the pressure to start papers, make flash cards, finalize arrangements for next semester or start packing up the room. If you’re like me, all of these concerns blur together and lead to the inability to breathe, sleep or eat anything that involves more than a minute on high in the microwave.

It’s interesting to watch the distinctly different methods people use to get through this stretch and cope with the stress.

One strategy is to go at it alone and remove all distractions. Those who do this go into hiding with stashes of food reminiscent of a cold war and technology usage akin to that found in Lancaster County in Pennsylvania. You’ll recognize them when one day they just fall off the grid, only to be seen again when the storm has passed. If you’re friends with one of these people, you might want to wait until they’ve had the chance to sleep, shower or stare blinking into the sun for a bit, as it can be somewhat unnerving to see them immediately after their self-imposed isolation comes to an end.

Other students hunker down together, finding strength in numbers. From the outside, it may appear to be some sort of misery pact, that is, if I’m writing this paper instead of checking my Tumblr every five minutes, then you must follow suit as well. It’s like a game of chicken with distraction that no one wants to lose, or a support group to talk you down from breaking your own concentration. If you find yourself saying, “Seriously, I just have to check this one thing” only to look up from a friend of a friend of a friend’s Facebook page hours later, this arrangement not might be for you.

I personally have an appreciation for the people who spend days on end in the library and still leave with their sanity. The florescent lights and the palpable stress leave me feeling even more anxious about my work, so I try to keep my time there during finals to a minimum. However, if you can stick it out until 3 or 4 a.m., there is a certain comfort to be had looking over the sleeping masses surrounded by their open books and scattered highlighters. It’s nice to be reminded of your humanity during finals, and no matter how bad your workload is, at least there are 26 floors of people to remind you that you are not alone.

Every semester I usually end up trying something different, or a combination of all three. My caffeine intake skyrockets to almost inhuman levels, and I move between periods of productivity and procrastination that seem extreme with the amount of work to be done. It has taken me two years, but I might finally embrace finals rather than pretend they don’t exist. I wish I could move through the work instead of mentally piling it up, like a sort of Zen approach to finals that results in all of the work with less of the agony.

If all of this seems premature, it’s because all of my final papers or projects will ideally be completed by the last day of classes. Pro: I get to go home early if I manage to pull it off. Con: I walk into the valley of stress long before most of campus.

So as I put together my finals playlist, gather my Post-Its and begin trudging back through readings looking for quotes, I wish everyone luck. If you find yourself overwhelmed, just try to remember the feeling of walking out at the end of your last final. There’s nothing quite like it and if past semesters are any indication, we can all hope to make it through to the end.

As for the freshmen hurtling towards the end of their first semester – don’t worry, this too shall pass.

 

Molly Boushell is a Collegian columnist. She can be reached at mboushel@student.umass.edu.

Comments
One Response to “The last two weeks”
  1. Stephanie Harwich says:

    See, we are ALL like this!

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