In the Wake of Finals

I am so glad to be back to blogging.  Some people have told me how they’ve missed my regular posts and that has been such an encouragement to me, especially during finals when I felt like every word I read and every problem I solved took me farther away from human life and more towards being a walking talking drone of a human that liked to solve how much acid was in a solution when you add a pinch of salt or discuss how in the world the animals in my backyard evolved from bottom-feeders millions of years ago.

So now that I’m done with finals, I’m glad to forget about them.  But not for another hour because I’m about to try and blog about my entire freshman year.

Well… probably not.  But I want to blog at least about finals week and then this summer I’ll drop some posts about freshman year highlights.  I don’t know specifics of who reads my blog (so leave me a comment!) but I’d like to think there might be some people who are going to college next year and I’d love to give one person’s insight about finals as well as share a little bit of whatever comes to my mind about school in general.

I had a hard time naming this post mainly because I was so emotional about this whole semester.  What the Heck Just Happened the Last Two Weeks?!, Why Doesn’t It Seem Anyone Else is Struggling?, WHY AM I ALWAYS SO STRESSED?!  Finals just seemed to be the cherry on top of my already stressful hypothetical ice cream sundae.  And if finals were the cherry on top, chemistry 102 was the frozen gummie bears that nobody likes to eat because they’re hard and disgusting and not worth it.

But I’ll talk about chemistry in just a sec.  First, I want to tell you about the sprinkles of my ice cream sundae finals week …er, finals month.  In reality, I had already taken four finals before finals week even began.  I was in two labs- chemistry and biology- and those finals were a month before regular classes.  Add that to my english presentation and fitness class final that were both the week before finals and I had already finished four of my seven finals coming in.

So I guess you could call it a blessing that I only had three exams during finals week compared to the possible seven that I could have had.  But it was still a lot to process.

The hardest part of it for me was that I had worked so hard this semester and for a lot of classes it wasn’t showing.  I was fighting for a C in chemistry and had already gotten a C+ in bio lab.  What. a. bummer.  I studied for five days straight for my chemistry final, knowing I had everything to lose by not passing, and by the end of studying, I had read “acid”, “titration”, and “enthalpy” so many times I’m pretty sure I dreamed one night that I was on Survivor and one of the challenges to keep me on the island was to create a 500 mL buffer solution with a pH of 6.2 using NH4 and NH3+.

Come noon last Thursday, I was feeling more confident about this test than any of the past chemistry tests (they way it should have been).  I went to the review session two days before and my teacher had told us that our final would be 60 multiple choice and 10 free response questions but shouldn’t take the whole three hours to complete- such a relief.  Fast forward two days and three hours to the end of the final and nearly the entire class of 250 left without completing the test and looking like someone just played a really mean April Fools joke on them.  (By the way, the average on the final was a 66.  Yeah, he made that the most impossible chemistry test any of us could have asked for.)

But by the grace of God I managed to get just high enough of a grade on the final to get a C- in chemistry which means that I PASSED!!! That’s all I could have asked for given my dedication to the class the whole semester despite all the stress and frustration that came along with it.  And as for biology, my other mammoth final, I have yet to find out what I got in there but I’m thinking I did well!

Now that finals are done and I’m able to relax at home, I wanted to share with you guys some reminders that really helped me through finals and the “aftermath.”

  • At least I’m struggling at a great school.
  • Chemistry is well known to be one of the staple “weed out” classes and at least it shows that they make it much harder class than it should be. (So essentially I took an already difficult class but now it’s on crack.)
  • I’ll have great stories to tell my children.
  • College is hard.
That last bullet has really been driven in my mind this semester.  There’s a reason why businesses go to UNC to hire new employees and why I regarded people who graduated from UNC “geniuses.”  The main thought that I’m leaving this semester (and freshman year) with is that I have the amazing opportunity to attend college.  And not even college, but the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Yes, it’s stressful, and yes I’ve complained so much this semester, and yes, the thought of transferring colleges might have popped into my mind a couple times this past month, but I don’t want to leave UNC and I certainly don’t want to leave the wonderful people I’ve met.  So as awful as this semester may have been, I’m grateful that I have people in my life that remind me that I’m getting a great education and if college was too enjoyable that would mean it was too easy.
All in all, I wish I was less of a stressful person and didn’t internalize so much of my stress to the point where I get hives every time finals come around (that really happens) but it’s a learning process and reminding myself of the points above have really helped me.
And that, my friends, is the story of how I survived finals.
And now, please enjoy some more photos from my freshman year.  I apologize if the other photos from this post have confused anyone; they have nothing to do with what I was talking about, I just thought this would be a good post to put several photos from freshman year together.  I guess you can say this post is like an oreo baked inside a chocolate chip cookie; you think they’re good enough by themselves and then you try mixing them and it just blows your mind!
Note to self: must make oreo stuffed chocolate chip cookies sometime this summer…

Chocolately awesomeness photo and recipe found here.  

1 Comment

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One response to “In the Wake of Finals

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