Taking a Step Back
January 6, 2015
Blogger: Nina Greenebaum
As winter break comes to a close, Occidental students are beginning to think about what the next semester will hold. However, before returning to Los Angeles to begin my final semester at Occidental, I wanted to share some insight on this past semester at Occidental, and finals week in particular.
This past finals week, the library was filled to capacity at all hours of the day with students shuffling through flash cards, preparing for an exam, rapidly debating in study groups or buried into their laptops, constructing essays. As a senior, this was by no means my first finals week at Oxy; I like to think that I know the drill, but each finals week presents a new set of challenges and assignments. At the start of each finals week, there is a sense of impossibility considering the essays, exams and presentations ahead; however, despite the stress during finals, there is also an amazing sense of accomplishment at the end of the week. Senior Politics major Alida Beck said: “Finals week offers a moment for reflection, and to consider how much you have accomplished over the semester. While it may be stressful, it is powerful in that you can take a moment to pause and appreciate how far you have come over the semester.” Because the entire student body is swamped during finals week, there is a camaraderie that develops and is palpable in the library. Everyone is equally consumed with his or her work, and it is this camaraderie between the entire student body during finals week, that brings the Occidental campus closer together at the close of the semester.
For me, this finals week felt a little different than in semesters past. I had no exams to speak of, just three papers to complete, one of which was my senior comprehensive paper, or “comps”, in completion of my Spanish major. Given the difference in my finals week schedule, I was able to pause and reflect, and to consider the hard work and growth over the course of the semester, but also over the course of four years at Oxy. Finals week is the week that all college students love to hate, but in this mutual agreement, a unity is developed making it a truly unique time on the Occidental College campus.