For many in universities around the U.S. you probably just finished or are entering the cortisol storm called finals. If you go on Twitter or Facebook while studying (which you probably do because we love procrastinating) you are likely seeing a dense community of memes and complaints about college and finals.
I am a pretty easy going person, and I think that helps me to see the good in finals week. If you can accept that no matter what happens you will wake up the day after you last final and be the same person, thus avoiding high-level stress, you can step back and see why finals week is one of the best weeks of the semester.
1. It’s the most social time of the semester
During finals everyone is in the same (sinking) boat, so everyone can relate to each other for a whole week. The library becomes an inescapable hub of social procrastination. Even social media buzzes with talk of finals.
2. You begin to think deeper
It seems that during finals week we begin to think about our lives. We think about everything that led us to this stressful week. Your choice of major, your future career, and most important in my opinion, you start seeing the finite time you have left in college, and begin to open up. We talk to old acquaintances and friends. We even seem have more meaningful conversations.
3. You become your most productive self
Obviously this is not true for some, and even if it’s not your full potential, you are probably significantly more productive than usual. The deadlines of projects and exams get people to use their time efficiently, and the gym always seems more packed during finals because people are managing their time better.
4. The procrastination often breeds inspiration
Almost all of these lesser thought of benefits of finals week happen because we put ourselves in the right place to be productive, but we still procrastinate. This is okay. From what I have seen on Twitter, my roommates’ lives, and my own experience is that when the pressure of finals, meets the strong desire to not study, trips get planned, ideas get made, and even those small projects that you’ve been wanting to do all semester start sounding like better alternatives.
5. It provides a great reason to celebrate
Finals marks the final lap of the race that you chose to run. Much like a race, you may be mad at yourself towards the end for entering, but the finish and celebration make it all worth it.
There are more reasons to be positive about finals, but I will leave those for someone even more optimistic than myself to find. I think if we change our perspective of finals it could help us perform better on them.