Surviving Pre-Finals

I’ve asked many-a WashU friend what part of the year they find the hardest, and most of them reply with, “It’s got to be the last week. Always.”

See, the last week of the semester is always such a conflicting time period. On one hand, you finally see the light at the end of the tunnel. However, you’ve still got to cross many obstacles to get there — those obstacles coming in the form of final exams, final papers, final presentations, etc.

This semester, I believe, was one of the most difficult for me, and that’s why I wanted to write about my experience. I had three exams, two papers, and a presentation — most of which were in the span of about two days. Yes, it was stressful, exhausting, and incredibly challenging. And due to it being all of these things, it was also … amazing. I’ve learned so much from this half-year (not only academically, but practically) that I look back and think, “Wow. That grind … it was so worth it.”

I’m a PNP major, but Psychology is something kind of new to me; I never took psych classes in high school, and the first time I did anything psych-related was Intro to Psychology freshman year. To be honest, psych classes can be pretty darn hard — especially when it comes to exams. Even my Psych-major friends were aghast when I told them that I would be taking 3 upper-level psych courses (not including my psych research, of course) in one semester. And truthfully, I was pretty nervous going into it.

I’m really glad that I didn’t back out like I thought(/hoped) I would. I did have an exam every week this semester (besides two), and a lot of my time was spent poring over textbooks. But in the end, I’ve never felt such accomplishment and pride in finishing a semester. I learned a lot about time management and (unfortunately) procrastination. I learned about prioritizing things I need to do and things I want to do. I learned about trusting in my abilities and work ethic. And in the end, I came out victorious.

So, to anyone out there doubting themselves, feeling burnt out, or just afraid of the outcome … persevere! There’s nothing more fulfilling than being able to accomplish something you never thought you’d be able to do.

But let’s take a moment to appreciate how beautiful the campus is when it snows (disregarding the cold, of course)!