Thursday, May 7, 2009

Hey Mambo, Mambo Italiano

Students are always asking, what should I be doing during finals week? Should I be reading more, procrastinating more, drinking less? After years of experience with varied finals-week lifestyles, and after a few days into another such week, it has become clear that finals week boils down, quite simply, to a rigid formula.

Take yourself. Add stress- enough to arouse the pity of people who think you’re working too hard, but not so much that you develop a twitch. Add junk food and the subsequent 18 extra lbs (16 lbs of which are acquired during the last half of finals week). Subtract sleep, but not too much. You want to be at least semi-functional when you’re browsing facebook. Seriously though, subtract anything you could postpone until after finals week. Non-urgent chores, tv, showering, writing about finals week. Rediscover your baggy clothes. If you look presentable, you’re insufficiently devoted to studying. I can’t stress this point enough- by “baggy clothes” I don’t mean those slightly loose-fitting jeans. I mean your grandpa’s stretched out t-shirts.

At this point, the courts are split as to the proper approach. Some stress socializing with classmates. Discussions must alternate between the amount of studying you’ve already done, the amount of studying you have left, the fact that you refuse to continue studying, and that you will be up all night studying. Then discuss dinner plans. And plans for the second dinner.

Others jurisdictions suggest an anti-social approach to avoid the urge to compare your progress to that of others. When you find yourself bound to socialize with a classmate, whether in the hallway between classes, in a coffee shop, or at the gym (just kidding), immediately ask about their progress and complain about your own.

Remove some of your natural happiness. Add that to the happiness you expect immediately after the semester’s last final. Add blood-shot eyes, a normal daily serving of caffeine (for a coffee-addicted horse), and a dash of carpal tunnel. If you’re concerned about the health implications of this recipe—are you becoming a doctor or are you studying for finals? If you’re studying for med school finals, then…I don’t know, stop reading this. And assume that it’s better to forgo some sleep to review for exams than to spend next semester asking people if they’d like to see that pair in a size 7.

I have to go study. Go get ‘em champ.