Final Exam Period
It mainly consists of pulling all nighters to cram for exams, surviving off nothing but junk food or coffee, and struggling to avoid any type of distraction that you can think of. It’s also not uncommon to suffer from headaches while trying to memorize huge amounts of material that may be on your exams. Frequent mood swings and asocial behaviors are caused by this time frame too. Finally, feelings of anxiety take over your mind while waiting to receive those last grades that can either make or break your GPA. Yet, as grueling as studying for finals can be, there are some rewarding moments that come from it.
Now for that last part I’m speaking from my own experiences. Not every student will recall any enjoyable occurrences related to finals. I myself do not have many but the few that I do have were nothing but fun. That’s right; they were FUN! I bet you’re asking how on earth that could be so let me take the time to further explain.
Here at Rutgers an event called “MidKnight Breakfast” is held usually toward the beginning of finals week, during the fall and spring semesters. I’m sure that you noticed the spelling of night with a K. Here’s a fun fact; this was intentional as our mascot is called the “Scarlet Knight”. Anyway, going back the actual event, starting at 11:30 pm the dining hall on each campus opens its doors for students to enjoy a breakfast buffet. Students have the choices of various breakfast foods and other delicious treats such as ice cream. If you happen to consider taking a study break then this is a great way to utilize that time. Studying is bound to cause hunger pangs at some point. Additionally, it is never a good idea to try and retain important information on an empty stomach. Your appetite will only distract you from focusing. Since the food is already cooked, a buffet provides quick yet filling meals that should help with improving concentration and memory ability. Another benefit of this event is being able to socialize with friends. Because of its popularity, you’re likely to bump into at least one person who you interact with daily or haven’t seen in awhile. If there is enough time between the two of you then you’re obviously going to use every minute of it to catch up on each others’ lives. You can also meet up or go with multiple people. Now this is fun because you can see even more of your friends. Of course for every advantage that the MidKnight Breakfast has, there is a negative aspect to go with it. One of them is that it ends at 1:30 am, making the duration only two hours long. Regular breakfast hours are usually double that. So this along with overcrowded dining halls can lessen a fun experience. You may not be able to find a table to sit at depending on the time that you leave. Hence you have to eat while standing or leave altogether. Having said all of this, I must finally admit that I’ve never been to a Midknight Breakfast before! It’s shocking I know! You’d think from how much I’ve talked about it that I went to at least one event but sadly it has yet to happen. I did try however and while I ended up not going, something even better happened.
After hours of studying, my friend and I were craving something sweet to eat. We were in the library at the time, so it made sense for us to walk over to the dining hall which was only a block away. As soon as we entered though, there was a long line at the check in desk to get our student ID cards swiped. To avoid the wait we decided to go to IHOP instead. This decision turned out to be a well made one because the restaurant had very few customers. We talked about our personal lives, final exams, and shared secrets. Now I didn’t get to see my friend for quite some time until we took a class together. However, we still didn’t get to spend a lot of time together outside of the classroom. So the fact that we got to bond over a delicious meal was even more pleasing. It was also fun being out late even when our final was the next day. We were just enjoying each other’s company and not letting the stresses of the exam get to us.
Another favorable memory involving finals was at the library. I was hungry but had already eaten my packed lunch. Luckily for me the employees were giving away free snacks. Naturally I took full advantage of this opportunity to fill my stomach. It was a nice little treat after intensive studying. I also got to save money since the freebies spared me a trip to the vending machines. When you’re a broke college student you begin to appreciate the value of a dollar.
Lastly, whenever I study alone late at night I focus a lot better and have a stronger grasp on the information, especially during finals. Moreover, my gratitude for the classes only grows. I’m not sure why this is exactly. My guess is that final exams are the last chances to prove how well you know everything taught throughout the course. If you know the subjects well enough then your grades can improve dramatically. In other words, they act as motivators for your educational success.
Other than achieving satisfactory exam results, for me, final exam period can also bring some unexpected but pleasant surprises. While my recollections may be pretty minor, they have helped me grow as a person and become more responsible in my academics. Furthermore, these satisfyingly simple pleasures will help me get through tougher points in my life. Looking back on them will provide a source of optimism and help me realize that I can get through anything problematic.