An Idiot’s Guide to Finals

‘Tis the season folks. Yes, it might be beginning to look a lot like Christmas, but before us college kids can get into that season we have one mountain to  climb. That mountain is Finals. Yes, as I’m writing this I probably should be studying, but I don’t have anything for 3 days, so I’m sitting pretty as of now.

There are a million aspects to finals. I will take an in-depth look at some of these aspects through a microscope, and perhaps shed a little light humor into this life killing time.

First, I’ll look at the different types of tests.

The Bone Crusher

This is a cumulative test meant to completely kill your soul. You must study for days if not weeks in advance. If you happen to get a study guide for this test, it’s got so much info on it that it might as well say “Just Know Everything.”

The Essay Test

Most of my religion classes have all essay tests, and after these tests I can’t move my left hand for hours. Builds ultimate hand and thumb strength for such activities as video games, guitar playing, and thumb wrestling. It’s difficult to actually study for this test because most of the time its more about grasping the concepts and being to elaborate on them as opposed to memorizing info.

The Team Test

A.K.A. “The Take Home Test.” Why would teachers ever give a take home test? Even if I don’t know anybody in the class, as soon as I hear the words “take home,” I’m making new friends.

The Paper Test

My personal favorite. Instead of an actual final, the teacher just has you write a paper. I love writing papers. Probably more of a blessing than a curse, but I think I’ve gotten an A- on 90% of my papers in college. Not a bad grade by any means, but I kinda feel like I’m always the brides maid and never the bride. I have to do papers in my Film Studies and Music classes. I’m actually just writing this post to get my creative juices flowing so I can finish those papers.

The Replacement

My second favorite by far. This test actually replaces your lowest test grade for the semester. I screwed up my answer sheet on my Finance test, so I have to replace that horrible grade with the final. Won’t be too bad.

So there are the test types. Everybody has their own opinion about how they like to study, so the second segment is going to be the different venues people prefer to study in.

The Maximum Security Prison

The Med Library. This place is closed to non-med students for most of the prime study time during finals. When you go in, they actually swipe your Student ID to make sure you aren’t trying to sneak in. During the semester, it closes at 9 to non-med students. I used to go there last year all the time, but haven’t gone this year. No eating, and NO TALKING. The guy who works there has greasier hair than Uncle Jesse, and it’s all natural. He usually keeps to him self, but his bug eyes will find you if you are group studying.

The Who Do You Know Place

Ellis Library. The biggest, most diverse study area on campus. You’ll always run into somebody you know there. There’s places to do group study (though hard to come by), and also for extreme personal cramming (stacks). There’s a room where 90% of the inhabitants are greek, and there’s a small little coffee bar. Great for all purpose studying, and late nights (open til 2am). Has some main flaws. First being the jerk cops who won’t just tell you to be quiet, but they’ll say something like “Did you miss the big sign that says QUIET AREA on your way in?” Another flaw is that it can be difficult to find a plug in for your laptop. The final biggest flaw is over-crowdedness. Something to check out: The periodicals section has great movies to rent for free. I’ve gotten The South Park Movie, Blair Witch Project, Bowling for Columbine, and the Truman Show among others.

The Casual Hang Out

Memorial Union and The New Student Center. Amazing places to go if you need to group study, write papers, or if you love food. There’s plenty of choices for food and coffee at these locations. Be careful though, it’s easy to get distracted and start talking instead of studying. New Student Center is probably my favorite location right now. Comfy chairs, tons of couches, all you can drink soft drinks, tons of food options, and great place to see people and have a good conversation.

The Comfort Zone

The Home. Easily the most comfortable and convenient location, but not a favorite of many because of all the distractions i.e. TV, friends, food, sleeping. Risky, but rewarding if you have the will power.

The Townie

The Public Library. Usually only a popular place during finals because they close early, but this place has it all if you can find a spot. Good light, plug ins, coffee, and the best people watching you can ask for. Probably only second to Wal-Mart when it comes to stalking the lovely people of Columbia, MO. Also a great place to find music and movies. Main flaw: no way to print.

The Random

Probably one of my favorite, tho not often used, locations. Just go to a classroom and set up camp. Easy in Middlebush, A&S, and GCB. Great for group studying, and hiding from distractions. Downsides: no food or drinks besides what’s in vending machines, and extremely uncomfortable desks. Upside: tons of computers to print from.

The Hipster

Coffee Shops are for sure the favorite for hipsters looking for soft jazz and their favorite obscure coffee combination. Starbucks and Kaldis are the favorites. Downsides: located far away, smaller tables, and plug ins can be tough to find. After studying you can find them at the Blue Fugue or the RagTag. No printing here either.

So there’s the  options we have for locations, but who fills these places? The final segment is an analysis of the different types of studiers. Where do you fall?

The Druggie

This person NEEDS Adderall or something of the sort to stay focused. I’ve never done drugs harder the caffeine to help with studying, and I don’t think I need to. Favorite location: Ellis

The Worrier

This person is the most dedicated person out there. Common symptoms include: studying days and weeks in advance for ALL levels of tests, re-writing notes multiple times, and studying for long, long hours. Favorite location: the Med.

The Socialite

This is the person you don’t want to study with. Easily distracted, and always asking questions. They need you there for entertainment, and if you have serious work to get done, good luck. I would probably fall here. Favorite locations: The New Student Center and Memorial Union.

The Night Owl

Though some might find this hard to believe, I’ve never pulled an all-nighter for school purposes. I’m usually pretty good at preparing ahead of time, because I’m a horrible crammer. These people work the best under pressure and little sleep. I need sleep, so I am not one of these. Favorite locations: Ellis early in the night, then home at 2am.

The Natural

Can get by with little to no studying at all and still ace the test and class. Easily the most hated category of studiers. Favorite location: the couch.

So there you have it: all the questions about finals answered. Agree or not, that is what I Think I Think.

Now why did you waste time reading this? YOU SHOULD BE STUDYING.


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