There was something different about Tuesday night. Joshua’s eyes were beginning to burn as his laptop screen held its steady, bloodshot-inducing gaze. The cursor continued to blink as he stared, lost, at the document he so desperately needed to finish. Three textbooks, a scribbled notepad, a half-eaten sandwich, and a cellphone left little open desk space for him to work with. The constant low hum of the ventilation system added to the drone of conversation from surrounding tables of like-minded students. The “bing” sound of elevators on every floor signaled the arrival or departure of some dreaded soul into the abyss of too much to study with too little time to do study it. Sounds like a normal scene for the AIRC, but like I said, there was something different about Tuesday night. It was finals week, Joshua had two exams the next day and hadn’t opened these books since the second week of classes. Put plainly, he was doomed.
Procrastination, “cram sessions,” term papers, study groups, late-nighters, ALL-nighters claim thousands of students every semester. Walking the study halls, libraries, and resource centers during midterms and especially finals, is like witnessing the walls come to life. Students appear from unseen, forgotten places to put in just enough time and effort to pass, or at least try to.
You know its finals week when the hordes are crawling and you begin to notice some irregularities in behavior. Afflicted students can be identified by slurred speech and erratic, incomplete thoughts due to exhaustion. Some gaze into nothingness with glossed eyes and pale cheeks. Disheveled appearance, bloodshot eyes, gaunt faces from lack of nutritious food and proper rest are all symptoms associated with finals. Desperation and insanity loom in the darkest corners, waiting to grab hold of anyone who trips on the home stretch.
Students no longer appear or act normal. They become zombies, controlled by the ever-burning desire to earn enough grade points to pass with at least a C. Hearts are wrung dry and brains are scattered. Some are fortunate enough to make it while others are claimed by the perilous sweep of flunking disaster. The world ends with a crash and bang in weeks 14 and 15 every semester.
Guess what. Week 14 of THIS semester is almost upon us my friends. Prepare for the Apocalypse! Grab your weapons! Pencils, pens, calculators, books, paper, scantrons! We need anything we can get our hands on. Let’s stop the zombies from taking over! Let’s STUDY TOGETHER!!