To The Week Before Finals

To The Week Before Finals

It'll all be over soon.

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There's a new trend sweeping college campuses across the nation– the professors assigning major assignments (even tests) the week before finals. They might even administer their finals for this week too. And while I sit here drowning in assignments and projects I can't help but wonder, why does it feel like finals week lasts two weeks?

Us college students are the masters of procrastination, late night study session gurus and major coffee connoisseurs– especially at this time of year. The norm would be for my study sessions and caffeine-induced shakes to be a dominant part of my life starting the week of finals– but alas, here I am stressing over assignments, tests and projects that are added onto my finals week workload. So I can't really start my truly studying for final exams until I can accomplish the tasks being thrown at me this week.

But this really makes me think.

Maybe (and hear me out on this) our professors are just as bad at procrastination as we are.

They come into the school year, with hope that the class will be filled with students hungry to learn– but when it's the first day of class, they walk into a classroom of us.

Don't get me wrong, I can spot the geniuses among me. I know that someone amongst my classes will be a lucrative mogul in the business world, an unparalleled success in the line of forestry or even a pioneer in engineering. But before anyone can achieve those successes, they have to sit through the foundations of Human Resource Management (Toby Flenderson? No, thank you). This isn't bashing anyone who wants to be in Human Resource Management– you're job is very important and I'm sorry "The Office" has put such a poor connotation on it.

All I'm saying here is that our professors tackle school the same way we do.

They come in hopeful, realize how long the semester is and then start counting down for Thanksgiving. But just when it seems like it will never end, it flashes by in the blink of an eye and now it's Thanksgiving. And soon thereafter it will be the week before finals week, which brings me here.

The same way we go into their offices begging for extra credit, they are logging into their grade books finding more ways to grade us (only to see they haven't graded anything since September). Finals week has snuck up on them and hit them aside the head with a big stick, just like it has done to us. So not only are the assignments heavy, but the tensions are high.

We're holding on for dear life out here. Christmas is around the corner and we can already smell the Christmas tree. I think I can already hear my mom's shouting for joy as I pull into the driveway to embark on this crazy, month-long journey away from school — where the only thing we have to be concerned about is filling up our social calendars for our short amount of time we have at home.

So this week and next week, when the late night study sessions turn into early mornings study sessions when the caffeine high turns into a coffee induced coma just keep your mind the end goal in sight (aside from our degrees). It's almost the holidays and we are almost free from this semester.

Keep chuggin' along my friends, and we all will be just fine.

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An Open Pat On The Back To Full-Time Students Who Also Work

You really deserve an award, but this article will have to do.
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It's pretty freaking hard.

“I can work nights and weekends, I'm a student," you told the manager during your interview.

So, what does he do? He schedules you most nights and weekends. This is OK. This is, after all, what you asked for. So you start working.

Class, class, work. Class, work. Class, no work tonight, you sleep and it feels like the first time in years. Class, homework, homework, homework. Class, class, work.

Before you know it, it's the weekend. There's a party. Your friend wants to see you. Your mom is calling you to see how you are.

But you are working all weekend.

You call your mom on your half hour break. She tells you are doing too much. She tells you that you should work less. Ask for less hours. Sleep more. Eat more. You will get sick.

You get out of work Friday night around 11 p.m. There is still so much night left!! You try to hit up that party. Sure, you will show up a little late, but at least you will make an appearance. At least you will get to see some of your friends. At least you will be able to relax and enjoy yourself. At least you will be able to have some fun. By the time you get ready and get there, people begin leaving. You begin to wonder why you came out in the first place.

“I'm sorry, I've been at work" becomes an all-too-familiar phrase.

But, but, but.

You really deserve a pat on the back, so here it is.

You've given up a lot. And you work crazy hard. Those long nights and hours are hard. A lot of kids your age don't work and rely solely on your parents. But you, you have taken it upon yourself to earn some money for yourself. You are a full-time student, and most of your free time goes toward working and supporting yourself.

You truly do not get the appreciation that you deserve.

But when you do get some time to go out, when you request a weekend off, you have some money to spend. You are never the guy who can't go out because they don't have enough money.

And of course, you will start saving. This is huge. You're going to graduate in debt (probably), and because you busted your butt during school and saved up, putting a crack in that debt will be a little easier for you.

You are a forward thinker, whether you realize it or not.

You are building responsibility, money management, and self-reliance skills, whether you realize it or not.

You are quite mature for your age, whether you realize it or not.

AND YOU deserve a pat on the back. So here it is.

You're incredible. You're amazing. Go get 'em.

Seriously, take a second to congratulate yourself for all your hard work.

And whatever you do, get some sleep, kid. And remember, don't work yourself too hard. Just hard enough so that you feel good, and rewarded, and happy.

You're the man. Keep killin' it, dude. Keep killin' it.

Cover Image Credit: Peter Bernik/123rf Stock Photo

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5 Questions You Shouldn't Ask An Art Major

You definitely should never ask or say these five questions unless you want to trigger an art major.

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Listen, being an art major isn't all fun and games. We work for long hours on our projects. We get paint all over our clothes. We accidentally cut ourselves with our x-acto knives. We run out of paper to print the night before a big project.

We get critiqued in front of all your peers by your professors. Well maybe those things don't happen to all of us but they sure have happened to me. Non-art majors swear being an art major is the easiest thing in the entire world but they just don't understand what it is really like.

1. "All you do is art and crafts, how hard can it be?"

If it was all just art and crafts, do you think I would complain about the harsh critiques I get from my professors and the late nights on my laptop finishing my final portfolio. Being an art major isn't making the stuff that you pin on your art and crafts board on Pinterest. I'm not saying that isn't art but that's not the type of stuff we create. We create art that makes us think, makes a statement, shows emotion, etc.

2. "What are you going to do with that?"

This question triggers every college student so why do you think it's going to be different for an art major. You hate it every holiday season when your family members ask you that same question about your degree so stop asking us. We are obviously going to become an artist in our field that we specialize in just like you will in your career and degree field.

3. "Will you do it for free?"

As a photographer, many of my friends ask me to do photoshoots for them, their organization that they participate in, and other stuff. Almost every single time, they never ask me if I want them to pay nor do I expect them to ask me at this point.

It would be nice if they thought about the time I take out of my day to take the photos and edit the photos. Of course I will always do it for them cause I love my friends to death but the thought would mean a lot.

4. "You know you aren't going to have any money, right?"

Well yes I obviously know I'm not going to be making 100K a year for selling my art. If I wanted to make big money, I would doing some boring job in a small cubicle doing accounting or something like that. I'm doing this career path that I don't care how much money I make because I love it and have a real passion for.

5. "Why aren't you dressed more like an art major?"

First of all, what does an art major even dress like? I guess people expect us to all dress like that cool and alternative trendy hipster. Some of us dress really cute. Some of us dress really weird.

Some of us of dress in sweats. We dress just like every other college student. Sometimes I even wish I could dress like a cool and alternative trendy hipster but we don't have to dress like that just to be an art major.

Despite all the stereotypes given to art majors, I really do love being an art major. I love the long hours of taking, developing, and editing photos. It is one of the best decision I have ever made and wouldn't trade it for the world. Can we please stop with these questions though? They really get annoying after a while when everyone asks us the same things. So next time you start to question an art major, just don't ask.

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