It’s final paper time, and almost reading week. Time for a fun little break for me, and for you, should you choose to read this. As some of you may know, many of the Peer Eds are huge Buffy the Vampire Slayer fans. In celebration of this love and as encouragement for the end of the semester, I present to you a gif pep talk from me via Buffy and the rest of the Scooby Gang.
**TRIGGER WARNING: if you have photosensitive epilepsy or are bothered by gifs in general, some gifs contained within may have a frame rate high enough to be problematic, so please do not click ‘more.’**
Also, SPOILER ALERT. They are mild, but will make you sad if you haven’t finished and care about spoilers.
Are you ready? This is how excited I am:
So I don’t know about you, but I have a variety of reactions to finals time. My first reaction, even though I know this time must come, is incredulity. It’s not really the end of the semester, is it?
Next comes my futile rage. How do they expect us to complete so many papers, or so many exams, in such a short period of time?!
When facing what feels like an annoyingly large pile of work, I find it helpful to remember my own limits about how much work I am capable of doing while still taking care of myself. I try to keep prioritizing sleeping, eating, time with friends and other activities that keep me feeling well over studying or writing nonstop…and I’m okay with that! It’s totally reasonable to give finals a side-eye from time to time.
I find it healthiest for me to try to relieve these finals-induced feelings of frustration and annoyance in healthy ways — I journal, vent to friends, sometimes just sigh audibly in my room over and over until I feel ridiculous and move on. The point is, sometimes finals time just sucks. Let it out in non-destructive ways! (Our friend Angel here could have benefited from using the office massage chair or venting to a friend before he decided to kick in this door.)
After frustration I sometimes move to feeling anxious. When I feel this stressed, I am a big fan of a good cry to release excess energy and tension. No shame in crying!
I can also feel just plain overwhelmed during finals time, and seek support to deal. If you also find yourself in this boat, it can be helpful to reach out to a friend to vent, commiserate, get advice, or seek whatever support you need! If you would like support beyond what your friends can provide, Furman Counseling Center can be a great resource — give them a call for an initial screening and you will have an appointment soon after. If it’s late at night (10 PM – 3 AM) and you need support or just someone to listen, give Nightline a call at Call 212-854-7777. Also, feel free to stop by the Well-Woman office for a chat during office hours. Just like Xander supported Willow in her most stressful and difficult time, there are lots of people and resources here to support you if you are feeling overwhelmed, down, or just not great.
People here want to help you! It’s nice to remember that you have a support network that’s got your back, whatever you’re going through in these intense couple of weeks.
Even if you are feeling well and supported personally, it can be hard to be out and about on campus during finals period. For example, when I go to the library, I often see some interesting situations that make me feel like I, too, should be freaking out.
But please be gentle with yourself, and remember that it’s okay to do what’s right for you to stay well while studying, no matter how other people may very visibly be reacting to finals. Taking care of yourself and your personal wellness needs is important. Sleeping in the library does not work for everyone, and that’s okay!
On the note of being gentle, take some time to relax in between paper writing or studying. Breaks are helpful, whether it’s going on a walk or watching some TV (like the best show ever) or dancing with friends (or yourself)!
Good luck and try to take care of yourself, even though everything might seem bleak. If a vampire with a tortured soul battling the forces of evil in the universe still takes time off to get down, I hope you, too, can carve out some time for a break and let off some steam.
You can do it! I believe in you! Pretend you are Buffy and this vampire represents your final papers and/or exams: you shall vanquish them all!
Do your best, but please be gentle with yourself and remember that you are great, no matter how your semester turns out. After all, no matter how things turn out, it isn’t the end of the world.