Taking my place among thousands of articles about the intersection of stress and cramming, I want to outline some signs that Finals Week has won. When these symptoms occur, it has championed over your sanity, judgment and social life. It has drained you of spirit, creativity and a sense of humor. When Finals Week wins, you silently wait for the void to engulf you. Here are a few of those signs.
1. You eat weird foods.
Weird in the sense that they are outside of your normal diet and weird in the sense of just plain weird. And I don't mean just chugging more coffee than you normally do. The other day, I was craving a cheese and peanut butter sandwich. When grocery shopping, I bought foods like Cosmic Brownies and Strawberry Shortcake bars. That's junk food I thought I left in the past. I had an extraordinary amount of candy and gravitated toward fast food for dinner. This makes it even harder to feel your best and probably isn't good for your health.
2. You forget to eat.
Or you can't remember if you ate. This week, I forgot that I ate dinner until I went in my fridge and saw the food I had eaten was gone. I also will entirely skip breakfast or lunch because I'm running around all of Boston. I drink a lot of coffee these days, and caffeine suppresses your appetite. If you forget your stomach is a thing, perhaps Finals Week is getting to you.
3. You talk to no one.
Different from isolating yourself, which is more of a symptom of depression than Finals Week, you want to talk to people. You just can't. You don't have the time. Or the energy. It seems like no end is in sight. No waking up from this nightmare: it's real. Your last final project, test or paper is about a billion light years away and also somehow just around the corner.
4. Cat videos are like magnets for you (more than usual).
Personally, I'm drawn toward cute internet content whenever I'm procrastinating, stressed or fed up with papers and projects. In addition to how-to videos that don't apply to me (I don't have a pet bird or need to tie a tie, and I'm not even a digital artist, but yet here I am). As the semester goes on, that tendency wins out more often.
5. You cannot even.
Finals Week is perhaps the only weekly span which causes months' worth of stress within days. Its concentrated deadlines and high expectations would get best of anyone. Here's to more coffee, more junk food, less socializing, more YouTube rabbit holes, and less being able to even. At least until we get through this longest week of our lives.
Yes, I as a white girl have just employed this particular stereotypical phrase. But it's true. You cannot even sleep. You don't remember what good sleep feels like. You cannot even stay healthy. You don't remember what being not ill feels like. You cannot even do your work. You don't remember what coming up with smart words feels like. So, in sum, you cannot. Even.