A Change in Finals Pressure

Finals week is fast approaching and I feel like I need to mention one more time, that this has been a really weird semester. Somedays the weirdness hits a little harder than others, especially now that we’re going to be having our first Remote Finals Week.

It’s odd. I don’t think I’ll be having late nights working on portfolios or reading flashcard after flashcard. I’ll be in my pajamas writing and revising and then simply submitting a few documents. I’ll sign on for an exam that isn’t going to take the scheduled two hours.

Something about these finals doesn’t feel real. I don’t feel the growing weight of final assignments. They just feel like regular assignments. Nothing special, nothing that skews my overall grade. But they do. These assignments and exams are still weighted but the pressure has been released.

Maybe it’s becuase of the added Pass/No Credit system. I don’t feel the pressure of writing the best anthropologcal research paper because there’s this after option. After grades are uploaded, if my work has somehow betrayed me– it doesn’t have to. I can make the class count but the weight of the grade sort of evaporate.

It feels liberating because I can write however I want. I can make my own schedule with even more freedom. And honestly, I think it’s improving my work. With the pressure gone, I don’t care how scholarly I sound in my essays and now the voice isn’t forced. The voice comes naturally and I think my writing is improving.

I could be creating some of my best work in the midst of all this chaos. And isn’t that a little funky? I’m starting to love this feeling. That deadlines and due dates matter, yes, but they don’t have to loaded with all of this pressure. Yes, finals are still important, but they don’t make or break me as a person. After I hand in those assignments I still exist. I exist as more than a student, and I think a lot of people forget that.

Don’t forget that you are more than your grades. You are more than a letter on a transcript. You still exist after classes and exams end. Finals don’t define you and test the pressure. Poke at it. Does it feel like it usually does? Is it a little bit lighter? Good.

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