BWW Blog: A Different Type of Stressed Out
As the quarter rounds out to a close in the next two weeks, the stress of final assignments slowly creeps up on everyone. Being in the arts school means that often times, there are not really any final exams; instead, most final grades consist of scenes, monologues, or any other type of performance-based evaluation. I have almost all of the above. I am three production papers, one scene and a 10-minute play away from winter break, and let me tell you, it's getting to me.
While a lot of my friends in STEM majors are in the library cramming for upcoming tests, the arts campus is packed with students preparing for their final performances. Any and every lawn, sidewalk, and corner is used as a rehearsal space, and the great thing about it is that no one even bats an eyelash. That end-of-term-loopy feeling has officially set in, and it is apparent in the eyes of every drama major as they run the same lines over and over and over. I am past the point where coffee even helps, and at this point, I am banking on recovering all of my sleep once finals week is over.
To add to the stress of finishing the term strong, today a professor in one of my drama courses announced that one of the fall mainstage productions had an open position in their scenic crew. Tech begins on Friday of this week, but they needed to find a replacement and were offering almost as many units as a full, 10-week class for 10 days worth of work. I need to tech one more show in order to fulfill my requirements, so naturally, I jumped at the opportunity. Have I seen the show? No. Have I been on a scenic crew for a college production before? Nope. Did they care? Not even remotely. Several signatures later, here I am: diving headfirst into an unexpected tech at the end of a hectic, insane quarter.
No, I am not falling asleep on my textbook at 3am while cramming for my biology final. I am, however, texting my scene partner at midnight trying to plan out how we are going to fit a rehearsal into our crazy schedules before our final showing of what we've been preparing. I'm not pouring over a massive Google Doc with the notes of my entire study group, but I am trying to corral 15 sleep-deprived drama students into a rehearsal for our 10-minute play. The end to my quarter may look drastically different than an engineering major's, but trust me when I say we are probably losing somewhere around the same amount of sleep. Finals week for a drama student may not be strictly final exams and lab reports, but this post is for everyone out there who has had to endure the conversation of "but you're a drama major, you don't really have to worry about finals week, you know what I mean?"
No, girl, I don't.
My only advice for finishing out the term on a high note is to completely disregard those comments, power though, and remember why you are studying this in the first place. A lot of the time, when stress sets in, students can lose sight of why we are really here: because we love what we do. I'm grateful I don't have to sit for two hours and recall mathematical equations I memorized; instead, I get to showcase all of the hard work I've poured into an art form over the past ten weeks. Suddenly, my finals seem pretty great.
While I can't speak for my future self that will soon be entering the long process of tech, I can genuinely say that while I am tired and stressed, I am generally optimistic for the outcome of the end of my fall quarter. This term has kicked my butt, but I am very excited to see how all of these final performances and projects turn out.