Finals are upon us, and we must rise to the occasion. All that has been taught and imparted to us is of incredible worth, and we must not fail to show ourselves worthy of all the time and knowledge that has been invested in us. Our professors and dedicated grad students have done their absolute best to teach us everything they know about the small section of their disciplines that we have signed on to learn, and to fail now would be to dishonor their struggle.
Just as finals approach, many of us realize that we have not read enough. Luckily, here at UC Berkeley, we are gifted with dead week (or reading, review and recitation week) to catch up. If you haven’t been keeping up, now is the time. Don’t let dead week get away from you.
Factually speaking, many other schools do not offer anything like dead week. We are very lucky to have a whole week to prepare for finals and reflect on our materials.
Lucky for us, we attend the greatest of the public universities — consistently ranked No. 1 in the world among public schools. If anyone doubts your path or asks you what you’ve been doing with your life, remind that person of the prestige of your institution of choice.
Strife may befall you despite your excellent education. Beyond finals lies the horror of the real world. Some of us feel more prepared than others to join the job market and move beyond the safe cocoon of college. Be bold — fortune favors the bold!
Breaking into the industry of your choice may prove difficult. Many industries will be dominated by graduates of private institutions, such as our nemesis, Stanford. Fear not, however. Your experience is worth a great deal more than that of a coddled private school kid because you have been exposed to greater diversity than they have.
The dawn of a new age is at hand. Even if you’re not involved in technology or the sciences, everything hinges on the constantly shifting landscape of the Internet and the world in a series of connections. No man is an island unto himself; this is more true now than it ever was.
On the beach of our futures, there is no such thing as an island. We are connected by our education, which becomes an obligation to better our communities. Any one of us who shirks this responsibility has surely missed the message of UC Berkeley.
We naturally feel put upon by the season of finals. We may not be able to see the forest for the trees, not be able to see beyond this week of finals into what it all means. We must keep our eyes on the prize. This week isn’t everything; it’s only a stop along the way.
Nonetheless, some best practices for finals week must be suggested. Get enough sleep. Drink plenty of water. Don’t cram; let your brain bring things back to you at its leisure. Flogging your brain will do you no good. Buddy up, compare notes and reread everything you have time for.
But contrary to popular belief, all is not lost this week. If you’re very behind, you can still catch up. Find the texts — go to the library, ask a friend and shed your shame. If you don’t have it, ask.
In order to go over the most important parts of your studies, ask around to see whether anyone has lecture notes. Even if you have missed class or neglected taking notes yourself, someone may be willing to share.
In the event you are thinking about cheating or plagiarizing, one word: DON’T.
Though we’ll long for those simpler days, there is nothing for which we would give up what we have. It just isn’t worth it.
Make yourself proud. Ultimately, yours is the only opinion that matters. Disregard your parents and your peers. Moving forward, yours is the approval you should seek.
Hold on to the thoughts of all the growth you have gone through this semester. All of it has not necessarily been class-related, but it all belongs and has a part to play.
Cling to the last hot ember of inspiration. Learning is a fire. Don’t underestimate its power.
In case of emergency, here is are the most important tips: Focus on the main ideas. Review your notes and anyone else’s you can get your hands on. Pool your resources, and draw on the strengths of your friends.
Should you get scared, I recommend the SLC. It has extended hours during finals, and if nothing else, it can boost your confidence.
Life is not a test, so pass your final exams and move on to the real business of living!
And if you’re curious, the first shall be the first, the second shall be the second and so on.
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