Finals season is kinda like the Twilight Zone. All the people you know super well, your best friends, your boyfriend, your study partners, your roommates, suddenly become these alternate versions of themselves. Why is that? Stress, duh. We all get kinda weird when we’re stressed, and there’s different ways to react to stress. A lot of the times you don’t even know you’re doing it, but your friends definitely notice. So whether you’ve kept meticulous color-coded notes all semester or you’re just now learning your professor’s name, you’re gonna get weird. And we know how.
1. The One on Edge. This is the friend who gets to class 15 minutes early, attends office hours like it’s her job, actually uses tab dividers, has ridiculously neat handwriting that she swears is “super messy” but you know she’s too much of a perfectionist to have messy anything. She’s always on top of the game worrying about her GPA even though she’s had a 4.0 her whole life. But during finals, even if she needs a 50% on her exam to get an A, she acts like if she doesn’t get a 110% she’s gonna have to transfer and give up. You love her, but this is not the time to ask her to read over your paper and help you. She just might bite your head off, or burst into tears.
2. The Joker. We all have this friend. He’s the one who always jokes about how he doesn’t take school seriously even though he’s like an engineering major and has ridiculously hard classes. He’s smart, but may or may not have slacked off a little too much this semester and is starting to realize the consequences. But, because he’s usually the chill friend, he has to use humor to hide how stressed he is. This is the point where his jokes are less funny and more, “you okay buddy?” Don’t worry, he’ll be fine.
3. The Ghost. You will not hear from her or see her or even know she exists until she walks out of her last final, fist in the air like the end of The Breakfast Club. She found herself a little underprepared for finals and realized that if she had any contact with the outside world, she’s gonna fail. So, you’re not gonna see her, hear from her, or even know she exists unless you’re in class with her. Don’t worry, she’s just doing what she’s gotta do until finals are over.
4. The Hot Mess. This is the friend who literally didn’t care about her grades all semester, joking about how she’d be fine because she chose an easy major. Then she realizes she doesn’t have the time or knowledge to do all of her projects and tests. And, like many of us do, she freaks out. You’ll probably catch her sitting on a bench outside the communications building crying into her Starbucks cup. Again, she’ll be okay, but… just give her a hug, okay?
5. The One In Denial. We’ve alllll been there. This is your guy friend who knows he has a million things due that he has to study for, he hasn’t done laundry since Thanksgiving, his entire apartment is a giant mess, but it’s fine. Everything’s fine. He’s fine. Finals aren’t that bad. He probably hasn’t checked his grades even, because as they say, ignorance is bliss. Then again, so are good grades.
6. The One Who Took On Way Too Much. You know this friend (maybe you are this friend) who, despite knowing she has really important finals and a job and a babysitting job and she’s the social chair of your sorority, still agrees to help people look over their papers and do volunteer work and is planning your squad’s Secret Santa exchange party. She’s basically a total people pleaser, and you may wanna help her out with some stuff if you can, because she needs it and totally won’t ask.
7. The Snappy One. Okay, if this one is you, we love you and we’re worried about you. This is the friend that you avoid at all costs during midterms and finals unless you want them to make you cry. You love this friend but you steer clear of them during finals because you’re already about to cry as it is due to your own stress, the last thing you need is someone who is normally really pleasant making you feel like crying. If you are that friend, seriously, finals are important but so are the people around you. They love you, you love them, finals aren’t the end of the world. Breathe.
8. The “I Can’t Believe You’re Going Out” Friend. This one is by far the most confusing. Everyone is hitting the library. There’s so many people in the library, you didn’t even know there were this many students at your school. Yet somehow there’s that one friend who is still getting lit in the midst of pre-finals week (aka the most important time) and finals week. How? How are you at a party right now? Are you okay?
9. The Vacuum Cleaner. No, not the compulsively clean one. That one usually falls under #1. No, this is the friend that literally eats everything while studying. This is the friend you wanna go to the library with. He’s got the hookup for study snacks. He’ll bring you one of those canned Starbucks drinks in your time of need. He’s the one who takes treat yo self to the extreme. Study with him.
10. The Extra Credit Junkie. Like most of us, this friend has discovered the magic of extra credit. You mean I could make up points for the quizzes I bombed? Perfect. Sign me up. This friend is literally going to random performance art pieces for theater appreciation, attending foreign films for French, and doing river cleanup projects for environmental science. If there’s extra credit to be earned, he’s there. At first it was for his grade, but now it’s like a high. More extra credit? Yes please.
We all get a little crazy during finals. And with Dead Day approaching, it’s important to remember who you are and remember that your friends still love you, but finals make us into people we aren’t proud of. But there’s still Dead Day sales at Houndstooth Press, there’s still Christmas, and there’s still a long nap waiting for you at the end of your last final. Keep going, friends. You can do it.