During stressful times of the semester, it seems like nothing can cheer you up. Like, I don’t have time to cheer up, I have a paper due yesterday. But if there’s anything we know to be true, in college, there are always things that never fail to cheer you up and make life better. And everybody’s different, but in college, we are all one.
“The final isn’t cumulative.” This one is always followed by loud, exasperated sighs of relief, students saying things like I love you and oh praise Jesus, and sometimes, in particularly tough classes, there’s a round of applause. Because let’s be real, no student ever wants to take a cumulative final and no teacher ever wants to make one. It’s a win-win for everyone involved. And you can breathe a little easier and just worry about your other cumulative finals.
“There will be free food provided.” Seriously, I’ve gone to some weird campus events just for free food. I know people who have pretended to be in a certain major for a free lunch, and even brought a Tupperware to take some leftovers home. Free food in college is a blessing for many reasons. One, you don’t have to cook anything for yourself and you now have a little more free time. Two, if you live on campus, you get a day off from dining hall food. Three, it probably tastes better than anything you were planning on cooking/getting at the dining hall. If you ever want college students to attend something, feed them. That’s all you have to do.
“This event is not mandatory.” In the midst of papers, tests, group projects, and any other ridiculous assignment you might have, there is nothing more satisfying than finding out an event you thought you had to go to is not mandatory. Not that you don’t like events, you do; it’s just that you also really like to sleep, and pass your classes, and shower, and just relax because life is stressful and you deserve me-time. Well, your event wasn’t mandatory, so go take a nap, my friend.
“Class is cancelled.” Imagine you’re laying in bed, your alarm for 7:30 am goes off, and before hitting snooze, you notice there’s an email notification. It’s from your professor for your 9 am. The subject line might as well say you won the lottery but it actually says class is cancelled. Class is cancelled. Are there more beautiful words in the English language? I think not.
“We don’t take attendance.” Okay, so we’re not telling you to skip class. Don’t do that. But…. It’s pretty nice to know that if you have to miss class for any reason, like a doctor’s appointment, studying for another class, or just getting all the things on your to-do list done, you have that option. Unfortunately, it’s always the class you actually really enjoy that doesn’t take attendance and the one you hate that does. It always happens this way. We don’t know why.
“There will be extra credit.” You’ve realized recently that there is no way you can get an A in the class unless you get a 150% on the final, but then the magic words extra credit hang over the class like magic fairy dust and your professor is suddenly Tinkerbell. There’s a chance for you to pass and not have to become a Taco Bell cashier instead of a doctor, and it’s magic.
“I’m gonna drop the lowest quiz grade.” Perhaps even better than extra credit is when your professor decides to just get rid of everyone’s worst grade in the class. It’s like for the first time you see that your professor has a soul and a heart and they are suddenly your hero. You have a chance at an A, and it is beautiful. And if this is also the professor that is providing extra credit and not giving a cumulative final, you’ve hit the jackpot.
“We’re gonna let out early today.” You mean I could go take a nap? I could go study for that test I have tomorrow? I could have time to eat lunch today? When your professor lets class out early, even if it’s only a little early, it’s like a Christmas present. You get that much more time to do other things that you need to do. If they let out really early, like at the halfway point or before, you could even squeeze in a good nap. Life is good.
“There will be free stuff.” Like the free food, I’ve seen some college kids go to the most random events for a free t-shirt. And it doesn’t even have to be a shirt that has anything to do with you. When my older brother came home from school when he was a freshman for Christmas break, I think I heard my mom ask “what’s that shirt from?” and him respond “I don’t know but it was free” more times than I can count. Free stuff, especially t-shirts, is one of the best parts of college.
“You don’t need to buy the book for this class.” Even if you already bought the book this is good news. You still have time to return it and chalk it up to having bought the wrong book. If you haven’t bought it yet, save that money and go buy yourself a t-shirt since there weren’t any free ones this week on campus. Or save it for when free food is nowhere in sight. There are so many possibilities with your sudden riches. Congratulations, this one is literally like winning the lottery. Because, y’know, money.
“I did my part of the group project on time and emailed it to everyone.” This is a beautiful sentence, and could even make you weep as you marvel at seeing it in your inbox or hearing it from your group member. Unfortunately, there is no proof of this occurring because it never actually happens. Your group has done nothing, and one person will get stuck doing the bulk of the work, and it’s almost always you. If you ever have it happen where everyone does their fair share, celebrate. Document it. Make a scrapbook. Write a novel about it and sell it under the fantasy category because that’s the only time it would make sense.
School is hard, but luckily, it’s the little things that keep us going. May your finals not be cumulative, your low quiz grades dropped, and more free food and t-shirts than you can imagine. Happy finals!