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The 9 Circles of Finals Week Hell at Berkeley

It’s finals week at UC Berkeley. Whether a semester of goofing off catches up to you, the 4.0 you need to get into Haas says hello, or some midterms come back to rail you one more time, everyone dies during dead week. Depending on the nature of your crimes against academia, here are the stages you’ll suffer through as you descend down the 9 Circles of finals week at Berkeley.

Being reasonably well-prepared:
The first Circle of Finals Week Hell is home to the hardworking students. They had good hearts and good habits during the semester, so the worst punishment that can hurt them is a fire alarm during 61A or having to share their study sets.

Here dwell the souls of the lesser damned, under the first of finals week’s tortures. Caving in to desires like study breaks, eating 3 square meals, and waiting until dead week to start studying, these students scurry through Evans Hall collapsing in an earthquake as a symbol for their weak, flimsy work ethics.

Going to Late Night every night:
The souls of those students who thought they had enough time to go to Late Night are trapped forever in the third Circle of Finals Week Hell. Like the Red Bull you chugged to wire yourself up, Satan will see if you can survive being hooked up to that IV of Adderall and black coffee you so desperately wanted to get you through your econ study guide.

Being in the library for 24+ hours:
“Oh yeah I can handle more than 16 units,” howl the banshees that tear into overachieving students that greedily signed up for 19 units during their CalCentral appointments. Instead of verbally jousting students with “debatably” difficult course loads, such students must spend finals week in the halls of Main Stacks physically jousting people with more than 16 units on horseback.

Realizing you’re actually in hell:
Karma slaps you in the face for being pissy to your friends. Though you are suffering from extreme hunger and lack of sleep, you are also suffering from being a bag of cocks. You’ve earned your place in the stress-fueled bitchfest your best friends are having about apartment applications.  

Wanting to drop out of Berkeley:
You’re done. It’s over. CS is too hard and you hate it. Unfortunately, in the sixth Circle of Finals Week Hell, the “Cancel Registration” button went the way of TeleBears and your academic career, stranding you in a tempest of stress and tears. As punishment, you must transfer to Ohio State and major in business.

Getting in an all-out fight with your roommate:
Some of the most damned students in finals week, their semesters of pent up passive aggression and unpronounced disrespect comes to a head all in a screaming fight about who will empty the trash can and who is a bigger arrogant douchebag. If this circle isn’t punishment enough, swallowing your pride to apologize will be.

Having every assignment you bullshitted finally catch up with you:
Somehow you’ve made it past the previous 7 circles without needing to know chapters 4, 5, and 6 and you’re feeling pretty good going in. Riding on some friends who let you copy their homework plus a few lucky guesses on the midterm, your confidence turns to perpetual horror when the professor cheerily announces: “Good luck on your SURPRISE CUMULATIVE FINAL! HAHAHAHA!” Worst of all, your punishment is your grade.

Ending up alone with no friends:
The worst punishment finals week has to offer: torture after the fact. Pushing away people you like, fighting with your classmates, and snapping at your friends catches up with you. Even after the hell of finals week, when the smoke clears, you’re home on summer break and have no friends.

The 9 Circles of Finals Hell are bad, but nothing compares to the secret tenth circle: being at Berkeley the Friday of finals week.


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