2021 Finals Are Finally Here

Stacey Kaliabakos ‘23

Features Editor

At the end of the fall semester, I asked a few students about virtual finals season. Due to the fact that many people are on campus this spring, I decided it could be interesting to see how student opinions on this topic have evolved. Two of my interviewees from last semester, Paul Topazio ‘23 and Antonio Ricco ‘23, have returned for another round of questions. Additionally, two other students, Ryan Wynn ‘23 and Stephen Pittman ‘23, were gracious enough to give their input. 

What’s your favorite study spot on campus? 

Paul: When it’s not a hundred degrees, the Rehm library is one of the perfect places on campus to get some work done. The lighting is bright enough to keep you focused, but it’s still relatively soft on the eyes. 

Stephen: I typically study in my room, although often it is preferable to move to another location to remove distractions or simply to be in a new environment. A common place I will go is the depths of the stacks in Dinand. 

What do you think is the most stressful part about finals at Holy Cross? 

Antonio: I think that finals act as the culmination of all the stress that builds up throughout the year. Finals are often the make it or break it part of the year that can easily either boost or demolish your GPA. This massive effect on GPA makes finals all the more stressful, especially for students looking to attend graduate school in the future.

Graphic by Hui Li ’21.

What do you do during this time to take some of the stress off? 

Ryan: I usually take walks around campus or on the adjacent nature trail. I also enjoy listening to lots of music that helps ease the stress. It’s definitely important to do something other than academics or else you will drive yourself crazy.

Paul: The best way to get the juices flowing is a little activity.  For every hour of work or study that I do, I’ll do around 50 push-ups or situps so that I get my head back in the game and feel a little energized.  I’ve found that a little exercise is one of the most effective ways to take some of the stress off.

How have finals this year compared to past years when school has been in-person? 

Stephen: It seems that more papers and projects are being assigned in substitution for exams taken at a specific time this year. This makes sense. Since everyone is not able to be on campus, having an exam period might interfere more with the schedules of teachers and students. And an online final exam is also threatened by the difficulty in preventing some students from losing academic integrity. 

What advice do you have for freshmen who are navigating their first set of spring finals?

Antonio: My greatest piece of advice to freshmen is to go slow and steady with their preparation for finals. Although many of us are procrastinators, myself included, I find that consistently and systematically studying for finals makes the process much easier. I personally do this by studying every day for a few days before finals. My other bit of advice is to remember that finals will be over before you know it. This thought always inspires me to power through my work so that I can enjoy my summer. 

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