As finals season is upon us, we notice that there is a set pattern of studying for many students. The pre-finals study/freakout happens in a series of clearly identifiable stages.
1. The Confident Stage
This is before you've started studying and when you feel like you could conquer the world. So what if you have an integral calculus final, an organic chemistry final, and a European history final on the same day? So what if you haven't gone to a single lecture all semester? You're confident in your ability to handle the workload because you feel like you're the smartest person in the world at this point.
2. The Meticulous Stage
This is when you've just started studying and the amount of work that you have hasn't fully hit you yet, so you study every little thing in excruciating detail. In the long run, more than half of these things won't be important to know for the test, but you feel like every single thing is important.
3. The Procrastination Stage
This comes after you've done a few hours of work and it still seems like you have all of the time in the world ahead of you. You spend a few hours watching TV, a few hours playing "Stacks" on your phone, and a few hours just laying in bed while doing absolutely nothing. Finals are a few days away anyway, so what does it matter if you take a little time to relax?
4. The Giving-Up Stage
About two days before exams begin, you realize that you haven't done any work and you start to panic. After a few hours (or minutes) of working, you freak out about not knowing anything, declare that you're destined to fail no matter what you do, and walk away from all i=of your work.
5. The Cramming Stage
About 24 hours before your exams start, you realize that it's probably not a good idea to avoid studying completely, and you pull an all-nighter trying to learn everything that you can. You swear that next time finals come around you'll do better, but, let's face it, the cycle repeats forever.