Woe Is Me

As finals season dawns upon us all, exams and final papers loom, and there is palpable stress throughout the entire campus. Final season is rarely easy for UofM students, and only gets more difficult as we progress to higher level classes. People deal with stress in their own ways; as for me, I am a complainer. I don’t think my complaints are entirely unfair—last semester I had four exams in three days for both midterms and finals, and it’s even worse this year—but I am fully aware that I did in fact sign up for this and I am only a victim of my own doing. It’s just a way for me to deal with the stress of it all, and I am willing to concede someone thinking a bit less of my character and mental fortitude if it helps me deal with stress and do well in school. This semester I am taking the biggest course load yet in my academic career, and my next week of finals is accordingly daunting. So allow me to have a quick gripe over the week that lies ahead of me, and send sympathy cards to my temporary home at the Shapiro Undergraduate Library.

On Monday, I have an exam. It is a two-hour exam for my political science 319 class on Supreme Court power in landmark cases, in which I will have to write an essay on one of two prompts. We were given these prompts about two weeks ago and I have time to prepare them both, but there are high stakes, and writing an essay covering themes from the entire course for two hours in a blue book is never easy. Factor in the importance of the exam (30% of the final grade), as well as my current position of barely hanging onto an A, and I am fairly stressed.

On Tuesday, I have an exam. This one, however, is a take-home exam, a series of three essays, for my political science 386 class on sports and society. Two of the essays are ~1000 words, and the third is ~1600. I do have the luxury of doing it in my own time at home as opposed to the in-class essay format of the first exam, but this brings with it a considerably higher standard for quality, especially with evidence and citations. Additionally, the prompts were only released one week prior to the due date, making it more difficult to get ahead. True to form, my current grade stands right on the divide, and a strong performance on these essays is massively important.

On Wednesday, I don’t have an exam. Great, right? Well, I’ll still be in the library all day grinding for the rest of the week, because I am not even halfway done.

On Thursday, I have a final paper due. This one is for Latin 409, the last class I have to take to finish my Latin minor. It is a research paper comparing themes and literary techniques in Horace’s Ode 1.18, which I have translated and examined extensively, with a combination of his other poems, contemporary poems, and the analysis of other scholars on these the poem. It’s interesting, but entirely different in genre from my other class papers, and requires a considerable amount of research and, most importantly, time.

On Friday, I have an exam. This is another take-home exam, a series of two essays, for my political science 355 class on democracy and development in Africa. These are ~1000 words each, and require evidence from a variety of sources we’ve used in class and some we haven’t. These prompts were released just a few days ago, and because of the other deadlines earlier in the week I will likely be very pressed for time in completing these. As you may have anticipated, these are fairly important to my final grade.

Furthermore, as you all well know the gateway final project and blog posts are due on Friday. Being myself, although I have done a lot of work on it, I do have some finishing touches I want to put on it, and have procrastinated several of my blog posts until the end of the semester.

Our grand total amounts to seven essays, the gateway final project, and my remaining blog posts. I thank you all in advance for your sympathy, and empathize with those who are stressed for this last week of finals. May we all find our own ways to destress, and power through this last stretch of the semester with grace and vigor. 🙂

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