Finishing Strong by Carla

The residents on my floor are not noisy, in any rude sense. They are, however, a sleepless and talkative bunch. The hallways aren’t quiet. I breathed a sigh of relief this weekend when “24/7” quiet hours began. It may be that everyone is busy studying or it may just be that they’re intimidated by the signs splattered everywhere, warning us to obey quiet hours. Either way, I appreciate the silence. As the Fall semester wraps up with final exams and final projects, I have one goal in mind. I want to finish strongly. I want to ace my finals and head home to my family. Here in my dorm room—now clean, quiet and perfectly conducive to studying—I think I might stand a chance. 

It’s been an interesting semester: a little maddening, but a lot of fun. I’ve studied everything from Piagetian theory to tornado formation. I’ve gone to office hours, given presentations, engaged in service-learning, and crammed in Jerome Library. My experience has been well-rounded and complete. 

I’m most of the way through exams now, with one left tomorrow. I’ve reread notes and played back lectures on my tape recorder. My stress is starting to fade, my clothes are packed and I’ve run out of “Print Responsibly” funds: all clear signs that I’m ready to check out of here. I sympathize for anyone with Friday finals, but I wouldn’t trade places with them. I’ll be on the roads Wednesday, likely playing goofy Christmas music. “Run, Run, Rudolph”, for starters.

Finals have not been bad so far, but I don’t have room to complain. I took my psychology exam more than a week ago, turned in two final papers and had just one exam today. I have one more tomorrow. I’ve found that studying hard all semester has lifted some of the pressure off of these exams. Of course, the idea of cumulative final exams still scares me. Trudging to my geography final today, equipped with two coats and extra pencils, I talked out my nervousness with a friend. The feeling was mutual. Can we really remember concepts we learned in August when I can’t remember what I had for breakfast yesterday?   
I’ve done what I can to prepare for this week, and I’m keeping my fingers for good results. I’ve seen my own nervous feeling in a lot of faces today. We can all rest assured, though, because there’s an end in sight. I’ll be sitting in front of my fireplace at home with coffee and a Kindle soon. I’ll finish strongly, pack up my laundry and drag my small car through the slick snow for three or plus hours. Exam week might be dreadful, but the holiday break will be great. Happy holidays and safe traveling, everyone! 
 — Carla

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