Our Finals Schedule is in Shambles


Kai da Luz

Finals season each fall is usually the busiest time for students all year.

Kai da Luz, Staff Writer

To anyone reading this, know that you are not alone if you suffered a minor panic attack trying to wrap your head around the incomprehensible failure that is our schedule for finals this semester. It is honestly impressive how the University managed to make it as inconvenient as possible. 

To begin, this year, the holiday spirit on campus should be off the charts because some students will be stuck here taking finals five days before Christmas. That is right. For any students who have not checked their schedule for finals yet (and if this is you, here is a friendly PSA to do so), finals week begins on Dec. 14 and ends on Dec. 20. 

My family has been planning a trip to Canada for the holidays since last year, and we bought tickets before the school year began to get a lower rate. In an effort to avoid any complications with finals, we bought flights from San Diego to Canada for Dec. 20, thinking that all finals would surely be finished by then. I could not help but laugh upon discovering during syllabus week that some of my finals were to take place on Dec. 19 and 20. Thankfully, because of a few fantastic professors who were willing to work with me, I will still be able to make my trip, taking one final early to fly back home and another a day later to fly to Canada. This issue only scratches the surface.

In order to study for finals and finish up final papers, students must take advantage of every second they can get. It would make sense to give them sufficient uninterrupted time before finals, right? A good idea would be to schedule the start of finals to follow a weekend, designating Monday as Reading Day. This would give students ample time to prepare for the grueling week. In fact, many other schools, like Notre Dame and Harvard, have reading periods and are granted multiple days up to a full week off from school to prepare for finals.

Instead of going this route, Villanova thought it would test its valiant students by throwing another curveball into the upside down jungle gym that is this finals week. Instead of having a Reading Day on Monday, Villanova designated Tuesday, Dec. 13 as the Reading Day for Fall 2022. While many could argue that this is a small variation from my proposed schedule, it makes all the difference. 

As Monday is a regular school day, professors can schedule assignments to be due, something they cannot do on Reading Day. I have heard numerous accounts from peers in all four colleges lamenting that a professor had assigned homework due that Monday. This pulls the student’s attention and time away from finals and makes it harder for them to start their final studying on the weekend as they are worried about other assignments.

To top it off, we still have Saturday finals this year. When I saw the new schedule, my only solace was believing that no finals would be held on Saturday this year, allowing for a much-needed respite and an intermittent period for students to prepare for the tail end of finals. Even this small victory could not be granted, as I realized when looking further at the schedule that low and behold, Saturday finals have reared their ugly head once more.

A lot of my friends at other universities are flabbergasted when I show them our horrendous finals layout. Though it seems preventing this stain at the end of the semester would have been easy for the University, it touts this is not the case. In an earlier article that appeared in The Villanovan concerning the qualms of long-distance students revolving around the break schedules, Villanova’s Director of Public Relations Krissy Woods stated that providing additional days off would force the University to “either have to start the semester earlier or end later.” She revealed that starting earlier “interferes with the end of summer programming, the preparing of facilities for the start of the Fall, and new student orientation and new faculty orientation,” and that ending later would push us further into Christmas, something that no one in their right mind would desire. 

Even so, the lament that extending finals week, a necessary change for the student body, would push us too close to Christmas highlights that there is an inherent problem with our end-of-the-semester schedule to begin with. This Christmas, rather than giving students the gift of added anxiety, Villanova should reevaluate its finals schedule, making necessary changes to the schedule as a whole to prevent such a conundrum from happening ever again. Until then, make sure you load up on peppermint lattes and artificially manifested holiday cheer because these next two weeks are going to be messy.