Making the Grade

With finals week finally upon us, some students will go to great lengths to get the grade they need to pass the class.

As college students, the words “finals week” send shivers down our spine, but more than that, the harsh reality of what needs to get done before the semester ends. Tests and projects begin to overlap, laptop battery percentages fall quicker than the grades we are trying to save, and chaos ensues. The entire semester felt like running a marathon, but when finals week approaches, the marathon turns into a sprint.

While some students find success in managing their social life and their education, others spend the semester sitting around a table contemplating the meaning of “The Game of Life.” Hasbro may manufacture a way to wheel into your future, but surviving college finals week requires hard work and preparation.

But as college life would have it, desperate times call for desperate measures. One student, Tierra Wilson, said what happened when a major English essay was due but responsibility called, “I had to baby sit a 9 year old the night before a big English essay was due where I had to annotate articles and I had the 9 year old annotate the articles for me as I was writing the essay.”

image A student athlete, John Santospago, got caught in one of traps of having to balance sports and projects and   said, “One time, I typed 2 different 1,800 word essays in one night to hand in the next day. Procrastination   at it’s finest when it comes to being a baseball player, but we still get our work done.”

When it isn’t a big project that has you cramming, the seemingly endless amount of studying for the final test weighs on your shoulders. As many finals are cumulative, most professors allow a study sheet for  students to have with them while taking the test.

Sometimes the stress of finals is so overwhelming that small details can be overlooked. Student, Tiffany Alexander said of one incident, “I crammed as much as I could on this cheat sheet. With such small writing, I could barely read it. All that work, only for it to be taken away from me on test day because I accidentally included formulas that I shouldn’t have.”

Another student, Jane Kim, found a creative way to create a study sheet and said,”One time, a professor said we can bring only one page of notes. I typed a full page in 8 sized font but I still had a lot left to type. So, I took out my pen tablet and wrote on the margins and in all of the blank spaces I could find.”

Whenever caught falling down, down into the rabbit hole of procrastination, it is important to keep in mind that all of your work should be your own. It is never appropriate to ride the coat tails of other students’ thoughts, ideas, or hard work. Everyone feels the pressure to put in good school work, but all of that work needs to be your own. At the end of the semester, the honesty and integrity of your hard work will get you the grade to pass, not the shortcuts.

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