Similar to Dante traveling through the nine circles of suffering within the deep depths of Hell, Hokies face great suffering through finals week, too. Each semester, Hokies must get through hours of useless studying and early morning tests, all the while trying to convince themselves that C’s really do get degrees. It’s safe to say, we’ve all had our own personal Hell on Earth, especially when it comes to finals and Reading Day at Tech:
The first circle of finals Hell is for those of you who have deceived yourselves into thinking that you’ll go to Deet’s a week before your final to casually “study” just to “get ahead.” You have yet to realize the torture and brutality that lies ahead.
A week goes by and you realize that all you’ve consumed all the coffee in Deet’s and you still only know that the mitochondria is the powerhouse of the cell. You envy those who have spent the last week pacing themselves and diligently studying every day. These magnificent creatures will destroy any chance of a curve because they will somehow get a 110% on the exam are so far from all that you are. You want to be them.
After a week of denial, shame, guilt, and lack of actual studying, you’re exhausted. After consuming the entire dessert bar at D2, you walk right downstairs to grab a Deet’s milkshake. You go back to “studying,” but resume procrastination when you walk over the DX to grab some chicken tenders and sushi. You want to go back to your studies, but there is only one thing a person can do after consuming nearly expired California rolls and spicy sriracha tenders: nap.
You moved to the Express Oasis in Newman in hopes that changing location will help you focus more, and it worked! You were able to read a page of your anatomy textbook and learn that the knee bone is connected to the…hip, or something like that. A classmate approaches you and asks you a question. You know the answer (surprisingly), but you are suddenly overcome with an overwhelming sense of competition and greed. You need to get a better grade than this person and there is a chance that by telling them this answer, they’ll defeat you.
You move to the second floor of the library because you keep getting distracted by all the people walking by the wall of windows in the café. During your change of location, you whip out your phone and violently text your friend. They’re complaining about all the material your professor expects you to know and how you have an exam at 7:45 a.m. when classes don’t even start until 8 a.m. and you literally hit a wall.
You repeatedly tell yourself that the professor never ever taught you this information before, that they were leaving you to fight your own battles, that they intentionally set you up to fail. All of these words sound like Harry Potter spells to you and you are fairly certain that they’re all made up and your professor is teaching you myths.
You’ve had enough! You rage and throw your books on the ground, rip your papers in half, snap your pencil, and consider going downstairs and throwing your MacBook through the current exhibit. But, you realize mistakes have been made, so you pick up your stupidly expensive textbook, apologize to those around you for causing a ruckus, and proceed to stare blankly at crumpled notes.
You really, truly, genuinely consider having a friend take the test for you. You pray that you have an identical twin your mother just hasn’t told you about so they can take it in your place. How serious can the Honor Code actually be?
You have been…defeated. You’ve lost all hope, all happiness, all sanity. You move to the quiet floor of the library…as bare and cold as the frozen lakes of Hell, filled with the souls of every broken student defeated by their own academic goals.
One thing is for sure: finals week is Hell, but at the end of it all, you get to go home and see your dogs!