by Kevin Copp ’18
The casual observer at Providence College this time of year—when Saturdays at Ray mean boys in mid-nineties era NBA jerseys and girls in flower-print dresses—undoubtedly hears more statements lamenting the busyness of the last two weeks than the rest of the semester combined. Students deplore the papers and exams that they know have been coming all year long, and nearly everyone complains about it.
While being busier at this point in the year might be a virtual guarantee for every student, the amount of references students make to their busyness and the surprise many students have at needing to do a lot of work during finals has become highly cliché.
Of course, it is natural to feel stressed out when you have a lot of work to do, but it is beneficial to remember that everyone else is in the same overloaded boat. Changing your attitude towards the commitment of finals preparations can make them less painful and even, in some rare cases, worthwhile.
The relativity of being busy makes it difficult to see how occupied other people can be. Anyone who has any work to do naturally focuses their energies on getting their own stuff done and tends to minimize the things others must do. The lives of others can even become a fantasy that you might envy when you have so much to do.
You have a ten page paper to write, and your best friend plans on heading to Whiskey’s for the last Thursday of the year. The moment you hear your friend is going to Whiskey’s instead of being cooped up in the library, you want to be them. What you do not know, of course, is that your friend finished a ten pager two nights before.
Everyone has their hectic moments and everyone has to sacrifice something in order to get their work done. Thinking more about the complete picture of the work that other people have to do and not just the fun they get to have can make your own busyness a little easier to manage.
Taking time for yourself is another way to take the edge off all the work that finals require. Although the sheer amount of things you need to do might seem overwhelming, it is still important to take time to do things that are just for yourself.
Taking a short walk, going to the gym, reading for leisure, and getting coffee are all activities that will make preparing for finals easier and put all the work you feel you must do in the proper perspective. Life will go on after finals, no matter how much effort you put in to ace everything.
Most of all, remember to spend time with your friends. Although they definitely have a lot to do as well, they also need to know they are not alone in being busy. Spending time with them proves your priorities are in the correct place and that you value their friendship over a number on a piece of paper.
Even though everyone succumbs to the cliché of being busy in one way or another, it is important to remember that one’s own personal effort is always relative to another’s busyness, and that everyone has about the same amount of work to be done. By keeping this realization in mind, as well taking time for one’s self and one’s friends, expect the burden of finals to be significantly lightened.