Why Finals Are Restraining (And Why I Love Earth More)


‘Tis final exams week – the week where seven ugly tests inspire a wave of self-loathing and a mutilating nervousness.

I suppose at one point finals were used to accurately express how much a student has learned over the course of a semester, but now it seems like an overall effort to have children practice cramming their brains with as much useless information as possible in the span of two weeks.

So here I am, the semester almost over, and I’m studying at unhealthy extents. I’m drinking drinks that will help me stay up, eating foods that will make me not feel sick and praying that everything I do is the right move.

I’m cramming two quarters’ worth of knowledge into my brain so I can do well on these hefty tests that make up such a large part of our grades. As much as I love this style of learning (I don’t), I need a break.

I would like to consider looking up fonts on StumbleUpon.com a break, but it’s not. It’s a distraction. I’d like to think that my occasional walks to the fridge are releasing, but they’re really just mindless activities that help interrupt my tedious brain-training.

What I need is to be outside. I need to actually be near nature. I need to feel healthy, and not like I’m carrying some dragging package of OCD and anxiety that it seems like I pick up this time of year.

After being trapped in rooms with large classes for seven hours a day, five days a week with little time for any form of real enjoyment, I tend to go insane. Adding loads of studying to that doesn’t help much.

I want to actually go outside and remember that I live on this big green and blue planet, that not everything is made paper and computer screens and that life is bigger than seven tests and a GPA. Like, when’s the last time I walked outside for fun and looked up at the sky? You don’t have to be a child to do that, I don’t think.


A friend of mine, Erin Lanigan, said it quite well when she tweeted “Spending five days a week in a large public school tends to make me forget I’m a person. I love bookstores.” Although she’s talking about bookstores and I’m talking about being outside, the message is still the same. I want to go outside and enjoy this weird Earth we got here.

I’m not sure what I’d do outside, but I’m sure it’d be better than anything I’m doing right now (drinking tea and memorizing info about Joan of Arc). Maybe I’d run… in the woods. Or swim… I don’t know, but that part doesn’t matter.

I’d like to think that I’ll have to time to pursue this newly realized desire, but sadly final exams are so time consuming. Perhaps I’ll remember this the next time my brain goes dead from studying too long.

It would be nice to leave my studying for just a little bit and be all “Pocahontas”-curious about what surrounds me. To think I care so much about a few tests when there’s a whole world out there that I’ve almost completely neglected.

Photo: Flickr – Hot Meteor