Final's week and the weeks leading up to it are my favorite weeks of the entire semester. Everything seems to stressfully crescendo together, and all of the semester's effort or lack of effort becomes obvious.
Sleep deprivation, chronic stress, and mounting pressure all add to a week of strong highs, in the case when you walk out of an exam you know you did well in, and strong lows, in the despair of coming out of an exam knowing you could've studied better. Although contrary to popular belief, I think the craziest events of the semester come out on the last week. All of the factors that go into making it a hard week are also the ones that contribute to poor decisions and lapses of judgment that make for the juiciest college stories.
People go out and party harder, either celebrating their successes or lamenting their woes, and I know the Strip gets particularly dirty. Many of the wildest things I've seen during my time at FSU has been during the last three weeks of school. Roommate disappearances, hospital visits, and extra risky behavior have all occurred during the last few weeks as people really let go of the inhibitions for the end of the semester and let loose.
A university can really be defined by its student body activity on the last week of the semester. At FSU, when a quiet lull sweeps over the campus as zombie students make their way to their exams, the odd passerby would be unaware of the hilarity that ensues in the background culture. One semester, after a long, dry study session, my roommates and I craved some much needed stimulus. After a series of dares and poor decisions, two of us hopped on a moving train by Railroad Square. He said I wouldn't… so naturally, I had to.
We found out the hard way that those trains have sensors to keep homeless people from hitching rides. My friend and I arranged to be picked up in Georgia after having been on the train for nearly an hour.
Another time, a roommate woke us up in the middle of the night nearly crying in pain. After trying to bear through it for a few minutes, he begged for us to take him to the hospital. We were in the hospital until 4 in the morning, with my exam scheduled for 10 a.m. Turns out he had a kidney stone, partly due to stress partly due to his diet. It sounds minor, but waking up to screaming man in your apartment the night before a final exam is the last thing you want.
As a senior, I have countless other stories similar to these: random, striking anecdotes of student stress. As I near my penultimate semester, I look forward to what incredible story I'll have from this final's week.