You can’t do a whole lot better than springtime on a college campus. The days get warmer and longer, the beer flows freely, girls wear more revealing clothing, and everyone seems to get friendlier. It’s the best of times but it’s also the worst of times, because all too soon, one of the biggest inconveniences of undergrad life rears its ugly head: final exams.
Finals are a slap in the face, really. One week, you’re skipping classes to play golf and day drink. The next, you’re frantically calculating how badly you can fail your Spanish exam and still scrape by with a C. All we want to do this time of the year is enjoy the beautiful weather, party, and hook up (spring fever is real, folks). Instead, we’re forced to waste away in packed libraries with infuriatingly slow Internet, fighting to memorize a semester’s worth of pointless information before our coffee and Adderall buzz wears off.
At my school, we call the week before finals Dead Week. It’s supposed to be a preparatory week where we don’t have to learn new material, but usually, that’s when professors make us turn in final papers and projects. The name stuck because by the time Dead Week is over, people wish they were dead. Finals week, of course, is even worse.
But before you know it, whether you kick your last exam up and down the block or you throw your hands up, say, “Fuck it!” and surrender your grade to the mercy of the curve, it’s all over. There’s nothing quite like the relief of putting another semester behind you. It’s a golden opportunity for celebration, but unfortunately, in my college town–and, I suspect, many others across this great nation–it’s an opportunity that is widely squandered.
For some reason that I can’t quite fathom, students seem to hightail it out of town as soon as they possibly can. Rather than enjoying a few well-deserved days of laziness and debauchery, throngs of people pack up and leave for the relative prison of their hometown. I just don’t understand why anyone would be in a rush to leave the land of cheap beer and no responsibility to hang out with their high school friends until curfew.
If you’re a freshman and the dorms close right after finals, I guess there’s not a whole lot you can do. If you’re in a Greek house that closes right after finals, you need to figure out who’s responsible for that ridiculous decision and talk some sense into him or her. If you’re starting a job or internship in less than 72 hours, to paraphrase Katt Williams, by all means, go make your paper baboo. But if none of this applies to you, why the hurry?
You’ve spent the past two weeks enduring the grueling misery of finals, and now you’re finally free. Take the frustration or the elation of your test results and channel it into having a great time. Hell, in two weeks, all you people will tweet about how much you miss [insert college town here] and how you can’t wait until August. Your family, your dog, and your crummy high school job will all still be there when you get back, I promise. The best part of college life is when you don’t have to worry about the college part, so take advantage of it.
Round up some friends, take a trip to the nearest body of water, throw out a towel, and crack open a cold one. Go for a hike. Play some yard games and fire up the grill. Throw a massive, last hurrah rager. I don’t care how you spend the time, but whatever you do, don’t be a lame, boring, stick in the mud who runs away from a good time.