Student Blog: Warning: College Finals Are Actually Really Hard

Finals aren’t for the faint of heart, but you’ve got this!

Student Blog: Warning: College Finals Are Actually Really Hard
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It’s 80ºF outside, the sun is shining, all my friends are having a picnic on the Quad, and I’m in a dark, lonely practice room, warming up for my upcoming jury evaluation. As much as I wanted to join my friends outside, I knew I needed the time to warm up my voice so that I could give my best performance for the voice faculty. I love performing, but it’s days like these when I’m envious of my friends who don’t have performance finals. 

No one warns you about how difficult finals are in college (or at least I was not warned). Not only are they academically challenging, but as you near the end of spring semester and are preparing to say goodbye for the summer, all you want to do is spend time with your friends and enjoy the warm and sunny weather. As a theatre major, this is even more difficult because a lot of my “final exams” are performances that require hours of preparation alone in the practice rooms. Additionally, I have to be careful how much I sing each day to ensure I don’t wear out my voice before upcoming performances and finals. After singing the same nine songs over and over again, cramming to get them memorized before juries and a showcase, sometimes I want to abandon the practice rooms forever. Each time I experience FOMO while I’m in a practice room or resting my voice, I remind myself how lucky I am to be studying music and theatre at the collegiate level. It might be difficult, but I’ve grown so much this year, and I couldn’t be more grateful for the experience. Also, when I don’t have an upcoming performance, I make sure to spend extra time with my friends.  

Outside of the music and theatre building, I am a politics major, which means I also have papers to write and final exams to study for. While the material is interesting, reviewing notes is much less exciting than rehearsing my final scene for Acting 1 or designing a final production package for Introduction to Design and Production. In order to ensure I have enough brain energy (and time) to finish my politics work, I try to start with those assignments, saving the more enjoyable theatre/music homework for later. This gives me something to look forward to and gives me the validation of a productive start to homework. 

Recently, I’ve had an epiphany about homework and the burnout I associate with it. Though I recognize that I would be more productive if I locked myself in a room alone, I’(M) Willing to spend a little extra time working on homework (or accept a slightly lower grade) in order to spend quality time with friends who are about to leave. This is especially important to me since I will be abroad in the Fall, so I won’t see all of my friends until 2025. Whether this is at coffee shops, on the Quad, or just sitting at a big table together in the library, I try to combine my studying with spending time with friends so that I don’t feel like I’ve wasted the end of my freshman year. Further, I try to treat my rehearsal time as a brain break. Rather as an obligation that pulls me away from my friends, I restructure my perspective towards it as a study break that I get to spend doing what I love.

Let this serve as my official warning to you: college finals are really hard. Especially when the weather is nice and you’re nearing a lot of hard goodbyes to dear friends. However!! You can and will get through them, and you will emerge on the other side a better student and person. 


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