Final exams are stressful but the holiday season is around the corner

Ann Abbott Freeman

‘Tis the season for formals, finals and freak-outs. Thanksgiving break has come and gone. 

The Villanova Grounds team has been putting up lights on every piece of vegetation it possibly can. 

Teachers have been busily adding last minute papers and tests to the schedule for the last week of classes. Freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors alike are re-reading the syllabus to discover how much the final is worth. 

The last two weeks of the semester are incredibly stressful. 

One should proceed with caution across campus during this time period. 

Students are running on little food, little sleep and a lot of coffee. 

Befuddled freshmen wander the library in a state of sheer panic.

 The weather also seems to be very confused this year–in the space of 24 hours we have seen 25 degrees and snow become 62 degrees and sunny. 

For girls it has been especially challenging: do I put away all my dresses, do I break out the L.L. Bean boots? 

What is the point of blow-drying my hair if icy gusts of wind are going to mess it up? 

How is it possible for it to snow while the sun is shining so brightly? 

There are so many unanswered questions. The end of the semester also means it is time for winter formals. 

The quad smells of hair dryers, perfume and nerves. Girls are running through Bartley in high heels and raincoats on Thursday nights. 

Packs of boys in sport coats, khakis and bow ties march through the halls of Sullivan to pick up their formal dates on Fridays. 

The trashcans are overflowing with energy drinks, pizza boxes and Chinese takeout containers. Students cry in the laundry room. Parents send care packages full of Kleenex and teddy bears. 

In a moment of clarity, Maureen Paglia, a sophomore communication major, stated she “wants to melt into a puddle and then slurp herself up for breakfast.” 

Clearly Maureen seems more than a little scattered. 

Some students are turning to a higher power to get them through the end of the term. 

When junior political science and communication double major Freddy Essis was asked if he would be attending Mass this past Sunday, he replied, “I really should, gonna need Him a lot this week.” 

People stay up until 4 a.m. Saturday nights studying in Driscoll. 

Other people camp out in Connelly for over 12 hours. People fight over outlets and chairs. 

When asked how she is coping with the stress with finals, junior accouting major, Abby Gagis, replied laughingly, “I look at pictures of my beautiful dog, Belle.” 

My own mother emails me every few days asking what I want for Christmas and the only response I can think of is “to pass my exam for my Mendel Science Experience Water.’”

To deal with the stress of getting my work done, I have cleaned my room (and then dumped all my clothes on the floor in a pile) three times in the past week. 

I have not been handling finals as well as I should be either. 

A friend of mine said hi to me as I ran through The Exchange the other day and I responded with “good luck.”

People are more fragile than usual, and they have not done laundry in a few days.

 I am fairly certain I mixed up my Downy detergent and Pantene shampoo one time this week.

 I will admit to having worn a pair of pants to bed and then again to my class the next morning. 

All I want to do is cuddle with my dogs and sleep in my own bed. 

I feel my motivation slipping away. 

But we have to remember that this is all temporary. 

It certainly is a crazy time. 

But in the midst of the craziness and the essays and the exams, it’s important to remember to still be a person and to enjoy life. 

Be present and remember it is all about perspective. 

Your grades are important but they do not define you as a human being. So study hard but not too hard. Take a quick walk through campus–look at the twinkling lights (even if they are LED). 

Break up study sessions with a holiday-flavored espresso. 

Take a hot shower. 

Watch “Elf” in your bed. 

Venture to nearby Wayne or Bryn Mawr for a quick dinner break. 

Have a dorm room dance party. 

Blast the Mariah Carey and Michael Bublé Christmas albums. 

It is still the holiday season. 

Why not do some shopping for your family and friends back home? 

Wouldn’t all your family members love a Villanova lanyard from the bookstore? 

Finals are so important, but they are not everything. 

Everyone will get through this week, and then we all get to go home.