6 Things Freshmen May Experience During Their First Finals Week

It’s that time of the year again. No, not the Christmas season that started as soon as Halloween ended for some of you—it’s even better. Finals week, or as I like to call it, purgatory week. Final exams are quickly approaching but it’s okay, this is not the time to panic. Or it might be if you’ve been slacking all semester and aren’t waking up from this bad dream of six mandatory finals and a grade point average that may or may not have seen better days. But for the upperclassmen, this is just that cousin that comes around twice every year asking for money you don't have. This is for the freshmen, the newbies who have this starry-eyed yet apprehensive view of finals week compared to our jaded outlook. These are some of the most frustrating things to look out for during your first week of college finals. 

*Disclaimer: I’m not responsible for any final grades.

1. Night finals

It's an abomination. It's cruel. It's a night final. If you're taking, for example, a language or communications class, your final may very well be at night. Usually from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. you're wondering who ever approved these times. It's cold outside, dark and all that's on your mind is sleep. The only things that should be this late are parties and the beginnings of a George Lopez or The Nanny rerun. But it happens, and the upside of it is that you have the whole day to study, so make good use of your time. 

2. Packed study rooms

Just when you think the number of people in this school can't get any bigger you enter the MLC, Main Library or Tate during finals week. The early bird definitely catches the worm, or in this case, gets a study room or space. It will feel like entering a war-zone or trying to navigate Atlanta traffic around 6 p.m. Only the strong succeed in finding any little open spot to plop down their materials to begin studying. It's one of the busiest times of the year, and that means everyone is trying to claim that spot they've treasured all year that helps them stay on track and centered in their work. Advice? I have none. May the best man win, and if all else fails, the comfort of your dorm is always a back up.

3. Internet failure 

You're on eLC going over the final exam review your professor posted online. You refresh your page, and suddenly you're hit with a message saying the page cannot be loaded. You check your GroupMe messages and see that your classmates are panicking because the internet in MLC is down, slow or backed up. You check Twitter and everyone is tweeting to the technology services page. Till this day, I name angry college students during finals week the top five most scariest things I've ever seen. Internet failure happens. It's usually fixed within a couple of hours, but those hours are some of the most panic-filled moments especially when the internet happens to be your biggest source for studying. It can be hard to keep a level head, but don't freak out (if you can). Take a deep breath, re-evaluate your situation and figure out a way to study without losing time. You 've got this. 

4. On campus activities

UGA is great about making sure there are several activities and aids on campus that help relieve stress. It can be easy to fall into a pit of all work, no play. With everything you’re juggling, it’s understandable to not even fathom the idea of taking a break from your endless studying or completing assignments. But it’s important to find a reprieve so you don’t crash and burn. Take a few hours to find something fun to do. Do yoga. Take a free zumba class. Not your thing? I've always thought eating in Athens is an activity itself and hitting up the new CFA downtown is not such a bad idea. 

5. The burn-out

You'll go through stages during finals week where you'll feel like dropping out. Coffee isn't helping, neither is meditation with a hundred and one burning incense sticks. The all-nighter you promised yourself wouldn't happen is in full effect and some girl next to you is crying. Another has just said "forget this stuff" in more colorful words, and one guy has just straight given up and is posting a meme on Snapchat about plummeting GPAs. We feel you. It will happen. You'll feel like motivation has no meaning in your life. You've already taken three finals and have two more. All I can say is push through. Think about Christmas Break and the present you can buy yourself when all of this is over. You're almost there. 

6. The 'treat yo self' friends

Isolation is an easy trap to fall into. You may think the people around you (friends and family) are a distraction, but they can actually help you. Isolating yourself is an easy way to work yourself up into a stress-induced panic attack. Keep communication lines open with people who you know will check up on you and make sure you’re okay, that you’re staying on track and that will ask you if you need anything. And do the same. Everyone needs a friend during finals week whether they know it or not. It’s a lot. College is a lot. Worrying about your future is a lot. Checking in on one another is just one way to alleviate the looming seriousness of it all. However, stay clear of the friends who know you have a final Friday morning but insist you go downtown with them on Thursday night. It may be tempting, but it won't feel that way waking up blurry-eyed and realizing that you only have an hour before your exam to cram.

Good luck on finals!