Getting Ahead in Week 3


In a ten week quarter, midterms and finals come ridiculously fast. All up and down my Facebook timeline, I see my friends complain about all-nighters, days spent in the library, and being held prisoner to their textbooks, essays, and projects.

But what if this zombification of RIT students wasn’t necessary? What if we didn’t need to hibernate for 2-3 weeks out of the quarters? Simply put, what if we used the other 7-8 weeks to get ahead and be ready for midterms and finals.

“I’m like the queen of stress,” said Emily Rinehart, a 3rd-year Graphic Design major. She said she didn’t really get a lot of midterms or finals, but a lot of final projects. 

“Week 8 is like my busiest week,” she said. “All of my projects are due then, and I learn about my final projects. Between Week 8 and week 11, I’m a crazy person.”  

However, Rinehart said she does try to get ahead and prevent some of this stress, but just the inherent stress of design gets in the way. It’s hard to plan for final projects that you may not know about until two weeks before it’s due.

“I’m consistent throughout the entire quarter, so one exam doesn’t break me,” said Tracy Adler, a third-year Interpreting major.

She has a good point. There is a lot of stress relieved if you know that your final project or exam doesn’t need the perfect grade to get you that A for the entire course. Last year during my Data 1 course, I spent most of the first weeks of the quarter studying only this subject, because the others were relatively easy. By the time the finals came around, I only needed a 68 on the Data I and could use the rest of the week to study for the other courses and solidify my As.

I made Data I my main priority because I knew it was a much harder course.

“I use whatever free time I have to work on (my finals) even if it’s just an hour here or there,” said Corey McCue, a 2nd year Industrial Design major. This allows him to keep the content always fresh in mind but also holds him accountable to studying. It keeps him from slacking off.

The Week 10-11 hibernation that our campus sees is not completely necessary. Yes, we should pay more attention to our finals than we would to quizzes, but it’s not enough to lock ourselves into boredom prison.

Putting 15 minutes towards final projects and studying, instead of large hour blocks, whenever we have it will lower our stress. Also, if you do very well early in the quarter, there is no need for a perfect final. When you don’t have to worry about a perfect final, you’re less likely to hibernate to get it.