The 5 Stages of Exam Week

Exam week is never going to be a good week. Ever.

We may think we’re alone in our failure to handle our desperate situations, but the symptoms of this week spare no one.


1. Denial

You do that thing, that thing where you tell yourself the exam isn’t happening for awhile, so you can relax – maybe even go out! But before you know it, it’s the night before your exam and it’s also the first time you’ve even looked at your notes since you wrote them down.

2. Anger

You get your grade back and you sit there – furious. You can’t see the fairness in how that all-nighter you pulled or those tutoring sessions you scheduled didn’t pay off. You can’t see why the good karma that you were promised by a fortune cookie, or even by your friend who asked for your notes and did better than you, didn’t pull through.


3. Bargaining

You desperately try to find solutions to fix your grade. You e-mail your professor, go to office hours for the first time ever, and you even try that all-too-familiar question of, “Do you ever hand out extra credit? You should start.” You even ask the world to just grant you one wish and give you an A on your next exam because of the painful grade you got on this one.


4. Depression

When all hope is lost and your grade is staring back at you from your computer screen, you feel the defeat. You mope around and feel nothing but pity for your poor GPA. You buy snacks, burrow under your blankets, and refuse to ever see the light of day again. Why bother to even try if you’re just going to fail, right?


5. Acceptance

There comes a moment, though, when you realize it’s just one exam –it’s just one grade. You realize that it’s not even worth obsessing over, because you’re going into that field anyway, and you know there are other grades in that grade book and future exams to aim for. It’s in this stage that you proclaim to the world: “Eh, it happens.”

Good luck, collegiettes!