This time of year, my brain gets a little overwhelmed. I spend a lot of time planning out what gifts I want to make for people for Christmas, when, in reality, I should be focuses on preparing for Finals Week.
For all of you who had finals in high school, it’s pretty much the same in college; each course has a final—some are cumulative, some are multiple choice, some are short answer. If you’re a humanities person like I am, a lot of finals come in the form of essays rather than exams. Essay finals are my favorite, since you don’t actually have to go in for an exam period; most professors just let you deliver a hard copy of your paper to their office sometime during exam week. Actually, I take back that my favorite type of final is an essay: my favorite type of final is when a professor cancels the final altogether (it really happens once in a while!).
At Colby, final exams are 3-hours long. I’m not going to say, “don’t let the 3-hours intimidate you,” because face it, a 3-hour exam is intimidating. But I’ve discovered that having 3 hours to finish an exam is much better than the 2 hours we were given my freshman year. In my experience, professors didn’t really change how much material they put on the test when the exam length changed from 2 to 3 hours; students just had more time to work out their thoughts.
For me, the coolest thing about Finals Week at Colby is the Reading Period. Finals start on a Wednesday, so the Monday and Tuesday preceding the start of finals is a designated “Reading Period,” which basically translates to “Insane Study Time.” There are no classes on those days, nor sports practices (usually), so students are left to do as they wish. And by “do as they wish,” I mean study. If you wake up early enough, you might even get a classroom in an academic building to study in. I’ve found that covering the whiteboards with my notes is actually a great way for me to study. I urge you, whether you come to Colby or not, take advantage of the Reading Period. It’s crazy how much you can get done in two days when you don’t have any classes. Just don’t sleep the day away!