For many, the arrival of winter signifies the start of a joy-filled holiday season. For college students, however, with the change of season comes the end of fall semester and the start of finals week, bringing memories of past finals with it.
Tech’s semester-based schedule results in finals week coming around twice a year. Whether it is fall or spring semester coming to a close, the week is often characterized by the stress and anxiety associated with it.
“(The atmosphere) is super serious, and I feel like if you crack a joke in the middle of the library, you will get thrown out. … Everyone is just ready to snap,” said Tariq Ayubi, a senior biochemistry and biology major.
For Ayubi, his General Biochemistry (BCHM-4115) class may have been rewarding, but the final was his worst.
“It was Dr. Helm’s (Richard) final. … We jokingly say we need to rename Stockholm syndrome Stock-Helm syndrome, because we all get tortured in that class, but we all love him,” Ayubi said.
In this, Ayubi is not alone. For Meredith Cox, a fashion merchandising and design major, her worst final was in Principles of Accounting (ACIS-2115), a class she also overall enjoyed and benefited from.
“I am not very math-oriented, but I thought (accounting) would be helpful, and it was a good class and I learned a lot, but it was just so difficult. … I was dreading (the final),” Cox said.
Needless to say, a good professor will not guarantee an easy final. For Brenna Lee, a junior computer engineering major, however, it certainly helps.
“(My best final) was probably my intro to computer engineering. I had a really great teacher, and she explained everything really well,” Lee said about Intro Computer Engineering (ECE- 2504).
The type of class can also play a role in finals success. For Emily Messing, a junior marketing major, her best finals have been in online classes, where she can control the environment she takes the test in.
“I have taken a lot of online classes just to get my CLEs out of the way, so anytime I’ve had them online, when I can take them on my own time in a comfortable area was the best, because you are not surrounded by a bunch of other people that are distracting you,” Messing said.
The quality of professor and the environment cannot always be controlled, but time spent studying can. Hard work can pay off, and it did for Amy Davis, a senior chemistry, clinical neuroscience and Spanish triple major. For Davis, her General Physics (PHYS- 2205) final was her most nerve-racking, but her dedication and time spent studying was rewarded.
“It ended up being a lot like the practice exam, and I somehow managed to pull a 100 … It was a complete shock when I looked at the grade. I had my parents look at it too,” Davis said.
Finals week is just around the corner and when it comes to studying, Davis recommends getting to the library early, ideally before 8 a.m. Otherwise, finding a quiet place to study on campus can be a struggle.
For Ayubi, coffee is the key to a successful study session, so much so that in the past he has brought his coffee maker with him to New Classroom Building.
“I just sat there with a pot of coffee, and I drank it and I studied. … You have to do what works. Coffee works,” Ayubi said.