The art of fake studying

by kattiewampus

Yesterday, I started writing this post:

I have a final for one of my classes tonight. It’s all multiple choice and short answer.

I stopped reading the textbook at the beginning of April.

I’ve been doing lots of “fake studying” this weekend. Fake studying is when you have the textbook open next to you while you check facebook, or your e-mail, or you write a blog post.

I’m actually fake studying right now.

Don’t worry – I pulled it together enough to finish preparing my page of handwritten notes that we were allowed to use for reference during the test. Incidentally, that page represented 8+ pages of typed notes condensed into 1 page. I meant to take a picture but I forgot, and we turned in the notes with the final.

I don’t think I’ve ever felt so unprepared going into a final before. And yet, amazingly enough, it wasn’t that bad. I finished early, went home, and watched the season finale of Dancing With the Stars. Then I had to get up this morning to go to school for a fake final. That is, we weren’t having an exam, but we still had to show up during the final time slot to check in, turn in any last-minute assignments, and find out our grades for the semester. There was an accident on the freeway that I take to school, which I found out about as I was getting on the on-ramp to said freeway. So, I sat in traffic for an hour, showed up twenty minutes late to the “final,” waited for about 15 minutes before it was my turn to check in, and then I was out of there.

I’m done. I survived the semester. There was nothing glamorous or impressive about it, especially toward the end, but I made it to the end. It felt a lot like I was dragging myself through the dust to the finish line, but I still crossed the finish line, nevertheless. Even the end itself was unimpressive. After spending sixteen weeks with the same group of people, it’s funny how everyone just sort of disperses on their own, without fanfare or good-bye. I always disliked finals week because it marked the destruction of whatever rhythm and routine I had gotten into that semester. With where I’m at in life now, I don’t really care because I wasn’t socially invested in these classes and I really just wanted this semester to be over. But as I left the classroom and walked out to my car this morning, it was like a flashback to many previous finals weeks: that anti-climactic and vaguely lonely sense of feeling slightly displaced. It’s almost like an emptiness.

I mean, not really. I have new plans and goals that I can start working on now. I know exactly what I want to do next and there is plenty to be done! But change and transitions are not something that I handle gracefully. It usually takes me a little while to adjust to an idea before I can fully embrace it. I’m usually pretty good about adapting – I just need a little bit of time to come to terms with a new situation.

So, I made it. I’m not where I thought I would end up by the time the semester finished out, but I’m here nonetheless.