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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UCSC chapter.

Happy finals week and congratulations on making it through another quarter! If you’re a fellow banana slug, you know just how brutal the quarter system can be— ten-week sprint upon ten-week sprint of endless assignments and exams. Feel free to take a break from studying for your finals, and see if you can find yourself in this list of relatable quarter system moods.


Week 1

It’s the beginning of a new quarter! Though you may feel varying degrees of trepidation about your upcoming courseload, there’s still a twinge of excitement for your new classes: whether that be a really cool senior seminar you’ve been dying to take for four years, or the Walt Disney GE you signed up for to give you a break from your STEM classes. You might even try your hand at those aesthetic class notes you see in your social media feeds. This is the quarter I’m getting my sh*t together, you think.

Week 2

Week 2 sees you beginning to fall into a new pattern, shaping your schoolwork around your weekly deadlines and other obligations as you become more familiar with your new schedule. Maybe you’re getting used to grinding extra hard on Thursday to finish that weekly response due before your history lecture on Friday, or that you have to start your stats problem sets by Tuesday or you’ll lose major sleep over the next few days. 

Week 3

This week, your work begins to hit HARD. Suddenly, it feels like you have way too many prerecorded math lectures to get through. And WHERE did that five-page paper come from? Though I’m only a freshman, the two Week Threes I’ve experienced thus far have absolutely put me through the wringer, signaling a possible future pattern.

Week 4

Week 4: the eerie calm before the storm that is midterms— that moment when you’ve been treading water for 3 hours… and realize you have to tread for 10 more. Or maybe, God forbid, you already have midterms? Either way, good luck to you, HerCampus reader. You got this.

Week 5

In Week 5 you are neck-deep in your midterms and absolutely pooped from constantly studying. Each time you close your eyes, you can see the afterimage of your psych study guide, and your ears are ringing from the lofi hip-hop playlist you put on to try to focus better. They say that bad things come in threes… not a coincidence, since most of us are taking three classes, which usually means three midterms… 

Week 6

After you finish up any late exams and either cringe or rejoice at your test scores, you’re hit by a sense of whiplash— it feels like the quarter just started, but you’re more than halfway done already. Congratulate yourself on conquering yet another midterm season; the end of the quarter will be here before you know it!

Week 7

Hello, HerCampus reader, this is burnout. Burnout, this is a HerCampus reader. In Week 7, get ready to be reintroduced to burnout all over again. Take a little time for self-care this week… even if your sadistic bio professor decided that Weeks 4 through 6 were way too early for a midterm, and decided to give it to you this week :(

Week 8

If midterms were a storm, then right now you’re in the eye of a hurricane. You trudge through your work, daydreaming idly about all the extra hours of sleep you’ll get over break while trying not to think about finals or that persistent twitch in your left eye. But remember: you’ve done this before, and you can do it again. 

Week 9 

Almost there! Your daydreams about break intensify— you’re thinking of trying out that cool pie recipe your cousin sent you, or meeting up with your high school friends for a socially distanced picnic. However, mixed with your relief at the impending end of the quarter is a sense of mild panic that grows and grows as the week progresses. There’s a light at the end of the tunnel, but also a fierce monster lurking there in wait of its next meal: you.

Week 10

The end is here! You attend your last lectures and reflect on how the end of each class makes you feel, whether that be bittersweet (“wow, I’m going to miss the outdated memes that the professor puts in the slideshows every week”) or just an all-out relief (“no more pop quizzes!”). However, it’s not really goodbye yet— all your Week 10 vibes are overshadowed by that looming storm cloud above your head that’s getting ready to unleash rain all over you at any second, also known as… finals.

Bonus: Finals Week

In between your alternating study and procrastination sessions, you kill time by frantically calculating “what-if” grades on Canvas to see how your class grades will change after each of your finals (“okay, I need at least a 98 on the final to bring my grade up to an A-…” *cries*). When will break get here already?

Alison Sun (she/her/hers) is a second-year Computer Science major (for now) at UCSC who tries her best to be a bright and sunny presence to those around her every day. When she's not toiling over Python, you can find her bullet journaling, rereading her favorite romance novels, or dancing to Twice's "Fancy" at her desk. If you're reading this, she would like to remind you to go drink some water.